The city council has pledged to support and promote the success of the John Muir Way, a 215km route stretching from the east to the west coast of Scotland.
Council Leader, Councillor Adam McVey, Depute Leader, Councillor Cammy Day, and Chief Executive, Andrew Kerr, were joined by Keith Geddes, Chair of Central Scotland Green Network Trust, to sign the John Muir Way Concordat yesterday.
The concordat recognises the importance of the route, which passes through nine local authorities including Edinburgh, to the quality of life, health and economic wellbeing of the communities it touches.
It also puts forward a vision for the route as easily accessible and attractive to residents and visitors, increasing understanding of John Muir’s legacy by bringing people closer to nature.
By signing up to the concordat, the Council has committed to promoting this vision, in collaboration with the John Muir Way partnership initiative, maximising opportunities to manage, maintain and develop route infrastructure and driving forward economic development for businesses and communities along the way.
Council Leader, Councillor Adam McVey, who raised a motion to Council recommending the signature of the concordat, said: “We’re lucky to form part of the John Muir Way, which is a fitting tribute to the pioneering Scot, whose work to conserve the natural environment is known the world over.
“I’m delighted to be able to sign the John Muir Way Concordat in recognition of his legacy to bring people closer to nature, and also to support a vision for the future of the route and the many benefits it brings to Edinburgh and further afield, in terms of health, wellbeing and economic development.”
The John Muir Way was created as part of the CSGN and was completed in 2014 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of John Muir, the celebrated Scottish-born philosopher, naturalist and environmentalist.
It symbolically links Dunbar (John Muir’s Birthplace) with Scotland’s first national park (Loch Lomond and the Trossachs) and Helensburgh in the west to create a coast-to-coast route. It utilises canal tow paths, core paths, other promoted routes, trails and cycleways, including the original John Muir Way in East Lothian.
The route can be walked or cycled from end to end in addition to some opportunities for horse-riding. In Edinburgh it follows existing routes to take in a range of scenery and landmarks, from views of the Forth and the Pentlands to Duddingston Loch and Holyrood Park, as well as linking to the Capital’s extensive network of off-road paths.
Depute Council Leader, Councillor Cammy Day, said: “Not only does the John Muir Way bring people closer to some of Edinburgh’s major landmarks, but it also connects to our great network of paths and off-road routes, encouraging active travel by letting users explore the city further on foot or by bike.
“By signing this concordat we’re committing to enhancing and supporting this great resource for future generations to enjoy.”
Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT), said: “The John Muir Way takes in the diverse landscapes and rich heritage of central Scotland and we are committed to working with the City of Edinburgh Council to ensure that it is easily accessible and attractive to local people, businesses and visitors, providing opportunities for all to increase the understanding of John Muir’s legacy and philosophy through getting closer to nature.”
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