Menstrie Glen and burn have always been at the very heart of this small Hillfoots village. Early settlers would graze sheep along the banks of the burn, and wash clothes in the clear water running off the hills. During the industrial period a mighty waterwheel powered noisy mills, and workshops could be found along the banks of the burn.
Industry has largely gone today, but the remnants of this great age remain, in the shape of worn lades and ancient walls, to remind us of the hardships of the past. Times may have been hard, but the village was a thriving community where a school, shops, a butcher (where local beef and lamb were fattened and slaughtered on site), a post office and a pub were all kept open and trading by the local people.
Although Menstrie has developed over the years, it retains a village feel and personality that would be recognised by our forbears. While they may not recognise the bustle of motor cars and trucks traversing the village, or buses taking people to work in the big city, they would certainly be familiar with the Gala Day, carols round the tree at Christmas, ceilidhs for young and old alike, dancing to traditional Scottish tunes and a skirl o'the pipes at Hogmanay.
This project focused on reviving the glen and burn. A new generation will be able to view and enjoy the vista, sit and listen to the burn as it winds its way through the heart of the village, and walk the same paths as in days gone by. The project has provided better access through path improvements, and has opened-up viewpoints by clearing non-native species, constructing a viewing platform, repairing walls, and providing interpretation panels to promote the area's historical and natural heritage. Volunteers have also created a new Wildflower Meadow next to the Viewing Platform.
To learn more about the landscape and industrial past, take a few minutes to watch the OLP's CGI film, The Ochils and the Locals.