A GROUP of path-making volunteers from Earlston and a therapeutic garden for the elderly in Kelso are amongst the recipients of more than £40,000 of funding.

Fallago Environment Fund handed out cheques to three local groups this week.

Established by EDF Energy Renewables and Roxburghe Estates as part of the Fallago Rig windfarm development, the Fund shares the benefits of the wind farm through financial support for local and regional projects.

The most recent grants announced this week include an award of £8,494 for the Earlston Paths Group to improve the circular footpaths along the Leader Water and provide interpretive panels for walkers about the wildlife and historic buildings.

Border Arts Development has received a Core Fund Grant of £15,000 to help its work in the promotion of art in the region.

The organisation runs a number of events to showcase the region’s creative talent, including the forthcoming Borders Art Fair, which takes place in Springwood Park in Kelso next March.

A third grant award of £20,000 has been given to Queen’s House care home in Kelso for the creation of a therapeutic garden of interest where elderly residents can relax and reminisce.

Ian Gibb, secretary of Earlston Paths Group, said: “This grant will enable us to carry out a huge amount of work on our path network, providing access and information that we hope will encourage more people to get out and enjoy the wonderful landscape and heritage we have here in the Borders. We’re extremely grateful to the Fallago Environment Fund for their support.”

Fallago Environment Fund grants are awarded twice a year and since the Fund was established in 2012, 41 projects in the Borders have benefitted from £738,863 in funding.

The grants have also enabled the projects to lever additional match-funding from other organisations, enabling over £4 million in additional resources to be awarded to the region.

Gareth Baird, chairman of Fallago Environment Fund, added: “Our aim is to use wind farm-generated funds to enhance the environment across the Borders, making the region an even better place to live, work and visit.

"We’re extremely pleased that the Fallago Environment Fund has been able to provide the funding needed to further these extremely worthwhile initiatives and look forward to seeing their progress and the benefits they bring.”

Grant applications for the Fallago Environment Fund are assessed twice yearly with application deadlines of September 1 and March 1.