Sport and leisure

A new plan has launched setting out how all those with responsibility for the Cairngorms National Park will coordinate their work to tackle the most important issues over the next five years.

The Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan (2017-2022) will deliver the following long-term outcomes for the National Park:

A range of 'Wee Hills with Big Views' are being highlighted by the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

These hills can be enjoyed by people of all levels of fitness - and you don't need to be an experienced hill walker.

Gordon Watson, chief executive of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said:

A walking initiative in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park has received a Certificate of Excellence from Age Scotland.

Irvine Valley Walking Festival

Irvine Valley Regeneration Partnership are holding their 15th Annual Walking Festival on the weekend of 12-14 May 2017.

Along with walks of varying lengths and difficulty level, there are lots of activities taking place including a Twilight Bat Walk, an Introduction to Map Reading and Taster Ski Sessions at Newmiln Snow and Sports Centre.

All walks and events are free.

Contact Details: Phone 01560 322966/email

Clyde and Avon Valley Festival

Discover what secrets are tucked into the Clyde and Avon Valley by taking part in an exciting and vibrant Festival, Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 May 2017.

The programme includes a staggering 38 family-friendly events offered over a fun-packed nine days. Events include walks, talks, exclusive tours, children’s activities, a song writing workshop, musical performances, an orchard open day, photography walks, Blossom Day and Landscape and Heritage Conference. All but two events are free.

Highland LEADER are encouraging potential applicants to come forward with their project ideas.

Funding of over £6.6 million is available for projects that will benefit communities through the area's LEADER programme, which covers the mainland Highlands, the Small Isles and Skye but excludes the city of Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park.

Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Local Action Group are delighted, in a backdrop of change, to have committed £867,041.10 to a mix of community, enterprise and farm diversification projects since March 2016.

The first funding award from the Highland LEADER 2014-20 programme has been secured by Fyrish Gymnastics Club.

The award of £34,200 will allow the popular club to buy new equipment so that more people can get involved. They will also use the funding towards the cost of a competition standard sprung gymnastics floor.

Claire Bath, Chair of Fryish Gymnastics Club said:

"We’ve seen increased interest in gymnastics across Easter Ross since the club started in 2009. We currently have 250 members with over 150 on the waiting list.

Six projects to benefit Orkney's communities and economy have secured support from the latest rounds of Orkney LEADER funding.

So far, the current Orkney LEADER programme has awarded grant funding of over £460,000 to eight community driven, innovative projects, with a total value of over £1 million of project investment.

The latest six projects to be awarded funding are:

In this article, Shetland LEADER tell us about a couple of their recent activities - an event to promote and discuss walking in Shetland, and taking part in the popular Shetland Food Fair.

Walking event

The Shetland LEADER Local Action Group hosted an event on 19 October to promote and discuss walks and walking in Shetland. The event brought together representatives from community groups and agencies from across Shetland, providing an opportunity to discuss walking as a development activity.