OAK pillars informing walkers and cyclists about local history and fitness facts have been fitted along Menstrie's cycle paths.

The five markers, which are located at various points along the route, were installed last week and have already proved popular with locals.

Councillor Les Sharp led efforts to bring them to the area, in an attempt to make the paths more appealing to the village's residents.

He was helped by the Sustrans walking and cycling charity, whose ArtRoots funding proved vital for the project.

Cllr Sharp told the Advertiser: "What they [Sustrans] do is fund pieces of art on the National Cycle Network – I came across them on the internet.

"So I was walking down the path and thought: 'There's nothing there; it's just a path that doesn't tell you anything about where you are."

With that in mind, he came up with the idea to install markers along the route which would tell people more about the area.

After putting in a bid for funding, Sustrans said yes to the project – which was completed when the markers were installed by Alloa man Brian Rock on July 1.

They were made using oak from Ayrshire, and are decorated with informative plaques created by Jim McKenzie, of Alloa's Advanced Signs.

Cllr Sharp hopes they will now help teach people more about the rich history of Menstrie and the surrounding areas.

As well as that, he hopes their fitness messages will also encourage people of all ages and abilities to keep active by getting out and about.

When asked what he thought of the pillars after seeing them along the route, Cllr Sharp said: "They're absolutely stunning.

"We've already had comments on Facebook with people liking them, and saying they add to the walk."

Stan Paterson from the community council agreed, and said he even went out for an impromptu walk to see them for himself after spotting them on Facebook.

He said: "I think when a lot of people walk down the paths they see the hills and the fields, and these pillars tell you about the history and are very informative.

"They're a nice addition to the popular walkway."