Pupils from Deshar Primary School, Boat of Garten were the first to try-out a new pond-dipping platform and ‘most-abilities’ path upgrades at the newly revamped Heron Trail in Boat of Garten, when they visited the site for its official opening in May 2011.
The Heron Trail comprises 450m of aggregate path and 15m of boardwalk plus the pond-dipping platform. The path surface, gates and picnic bench are all designed and built to accomodate a wide range of users including parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and elderly people.
Boat of Garten Community Council first approached COAT in July 2010 to see if there was anything which could be done to improve the existing paths. The Community Council were keen to include a pond-dipping platform as part of the improvements, to make better use of an area where the group’s Biodiversity Committee have established a wetland area.
A detailed survey was carried-out which revealed that much of the existing path could benefit from being raised slightly and boardwalk should be used to cross boggy ground. Once the proposal had been agreed with the Community Council the green light was given for the construction to begin in November 2011.
The construction project continued on and off through some very severe weather during December and January and was completed with the installation of a wheelchair accessible bench in March 2011.
The CNPA have since worked with the community council to develop way-marking form the centre of the village to the path and including the Heron emblem which is used in the local paths map.