Published: 16/04/2018 07:00 - Updated: 13/04/2018 14:49

Gairloch creates new beauty spot

Written byHeector MacKenzie


The newly slabbed area is much easier for wheelchairs.

A SWATHE of Wester Ross wasteland has been dramatically transformed thanks to a big-hearted community response that has helped open up a beauty spot as a wildlife observation area.

The effort centres on a stretch of Pier Road in the village of Gairloch which offers visitors spectacular views but has not always been the easiest place from which to enjoy them.

Building work was completed in time for the Easter weekend creating a wheelchair-friendly seating area adjoining the boat club slipway, which has fabulous views across the loch

The area creates a new section for the Pier Road’s Wildlife Observation Garden, affectionately known locally as the "Sitooterie".

Work started three years ago with a great community response and offers of help to transform what was essentially a wasteland into a pleasant area to enjoy the views.

That effort has already featured on BBC TV’s Beechgrove Garden programme.

Initially funds were only available for a gravelled surface, so an appeal was launched for sponsorship to raise funds for a wheelchair-friendly slabbed surface.

Again there was a heartening community response.

The initial target of £500 for slabs was reached within two days and within a week donations were received to fund the whole cost of the project.

Wheelchair users have welcomed the move.

Sitooterie co-ordinator David Carruthers said he was delighted with the response to the appeal.

"I am yet again very proud and so overwhelmed by the support given to this ongoing project by the local community and beyond," he said.

"It was very moving to witness a disabled person with her family enjoying the new area for over an hour just minutes after it was opened.

"I cannot thank the local community enough for their generosity and passion for this project which will be a wonderful amenity for both locals and visitors to enjoy for many years to come."

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