KEEN walkers can take to the Mill Glen in Tillicoultry for the first time in five years after the area was reopened to the public.

The beauty spot was shut in February 2011 as loose rock posed a danger to the public at a stretch near the disused quarry. Work was delayed as funds were gathered and discussions were had between Clackmannanshire Council and the landowner.

Eventually, work began but initial hopes of opening in August this year, ideally in time for Tillicoultry Community Week, were dashed when it took longer than planned.

Councillor Archie Drummond had been a vocal supporter of getting the glen, which is in his ward, repaired and had nothing but praise for those who undertook the job.

He said: “It has taken longer because it is a very difficult place to work and everything had to be taken up by hand.”

The work was completed in two phases with stabilising the rock to bring it up to health and safety standards the main priority for phase one. More money was then needed to repair paths, bridges and rails at the site during phase two which began in June this year.

Clackmannanshire Council invested around £430,000 in the glen and work is continuing on some final touches.

The issue was very important to local residents and councillor Drummond said barely a week went by when he wasn't asked what was happening at the glen.

He explained: “People are delighted it's open again and some have been going up already. Not only does it provide access to the Ochils, but it's also a beautiful glen with wonderful waterfalls and great wild garlic.”

Archie, along with councillor Balsillie, Ewart McAuslane from Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton & Devonside Community Council and local man Ian Walker got to view the site in August to see how work was progressing. Archie has also been up to see the place since it opened again.

The council is planning an official opening once the finishing touches are done, but no details are available yet.