A NEW volunteers group has been launched in Peeblesshire to protect the popular multi-use paths.

The Peeblesshire Paths Group will help look after the former railway line routes between Walkerburn and Peebles.

And they will also take on shared responsibility for the upkeep of the soon-to-be-opened route between Peebles and Eddleston.

The Peeblesshire Paths Group, which is affiliated to Peebles Community Trust, has been awarded a grant from Sustrans to help with buying equipment.

And the group has also received backing from CycleLaw Scotland, Peebles Cycling Club, Tweedside Garden Machinery and CCA Signs.

A spokesman for the new group told us: "All of this support has enabled us to purchase machinery and tools which are being stored with the help of Peebles Community Trust.

"We have also put up new signage in an effort to encourage potential volunteers to come forward."

The initial section of the Tweed Valley Railway Path between Innerleithen and Peebles was opened in 2013.

Thousands of walkers, joggers, cyclists and horseriders use the old railway track bed every month.

Earlier this year the pathway was extended to Walkerburn.

Planning permission and funding has been granted to create a new path from Peebles all the way to Eddleston.

And work is due to start in 2020.

The Peeblesshire Paths Group spokesman added: "Scottish Borders Council has responsibility for the paths in conjunction with our local volunteers who will help keep the pathways clear of litter, cut back vegetation and report any defects.

"The work is essential to help keep the pathways open and safe for use.

"We already have a base of volunteers who undertake regular work sessions twice per month.

"But we are always keen to recruit additional helpers, and all the tools, safety equipment and training are provided.

"If you like the outdoors and want a bit of exercise plus the satisfaction and enjoyment of helping to maintain this picturesque pathway which makes a difference to your community, then we would love you to join us."

For further information on The Peeblesshire Paths Group email ppg2019@googlegroups.com