A new 50-mile long trail along the River South Esk’s source to sea has been officially launched.
It will take visitors on an adventure at ten different sites, from the majestic Cairngorms to the flats of Montrose Basin at the river month.
Celebrating species including golden eagle, wildcat and bottlenose dolphins, the trail has already won a legion of young fans.
Pupils from Southesk Primary School in Montrose have taken on the role of species champions for the River South Esk.
They officially launched the trail with Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s cabinet secretary for rural affairs and islands.
The youngsters have been learning about the river, its inhabitants and the environmental challenges it faces.
The trail can be accessed from various locations in Angus and shares an insight into the life history of 40 native species.
It includes 15 local walks and various cycle paths, supporting access to the river and outdoor spaces. Accessibility has been improved at two of the sites to ensure access for locals and visitors of all abilities.
Angus Council communities convener Mark Salmond said: “This new trail is a perfect way to enjoy and explore the abundant and diverse wildlife, special walks and cycle rides Angus has to offer.
“I’d like to thank the landowners, community councils and the pupils and staff at Southesk Primary School for all their involvement in the trails development and launch”.
Ms Gougeon said “This is a fantastic opportunity for local people and visitors to exercise, boost their mental health and wellbeing while exploring this amazing corner of rural Angus.”
“Ten Angus landowners and two Community Councils have helped shape the trail which initially started through a community consultation asking the community to share their favourite spots on the river.
“The project is helping install a sense of pride in place in communities and aims to connect rural tourism providers enhancing the Angus offer.”
It was to be launched in 2020 as part of Angus’s Year of Coasts and Waters.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, celebrations of the new route have now launched just in time for YCW2021.
The www.wildsouthesk.org website highlights all 10 sites along the trail.
It features a catchment-wide map and provides further information on projects supporting nature, restoration and wellbeing.
The project was funded by Angus LEADER, Aberlemno Community Council, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Angus Council, and the River South Esk Catchment Partnership.