TRIBUTES have been paid to a stalwart supporter of the network of public footpaths in and around Helensburgh.

Alan Day passed away at the town’s Northwood House care home on December 8.

Born in 1927, Alan’s work on the area’s paths network dated back to the days when Helensburgh was part of Dunbartonshire for local government purposes.

John Urquhart from the Helensburgh and District Access Trust said: “Alan developed excellent relations with the old Dumbarton and Clydebank Council.

“He also successfully negotiated with key landowners like Luss Estates, and this was important because it was before the access legislation which formalised the right to roam.

“Later on Alan played a key role when the Helensburgh and District Access Forum – later renamed Helensburgh and District Access Trust (HADAT) – started its excellent initiatives, serving as secretary for those bodies for nearly 20 years.

“It was he who first identified the possibility of linking the area’s existing minor roads, tracks and trods into a long distance route, a concept which he encouraged me to pursue when I joined HADAT having retired from teaching in 2003.

“But it was really through Alan’s careful assessment of potential routes together with a continuation of his early, quiet diplomatic approach that HADAT was finally able to deliver The Three Lochs Way (TLW), the realisation of the idea which he had all those years ago.

“Now walked by hundreds of people each year, the TLW has achieved the status of one of Scotland’s Great Trails, which, together with its more recent offshoot, The John Muir Way, brings considerable economic benefit to the area.

“If we get some decent weather, many will be out and about on Alan’s trails, perhaps walking off some of the festive excesses. If you are, spare a thought of gratitude for his foresight and dedication.”

Alastair Macbeth, chair of the Helensburgh Green Belt Group, which led the establishment of the Access Forum, said: “Alan carried out this extended and fruitful work with care, courtesy, diplomacy and modesty, never seeking the limelight, but always keeping the long-term goal in mind.

“In our view, public recognition of his endeavours is overdue.”

The Access Trust and the Green Belt Group says steps should be taken to attach Alan’s name to some or all of Helensburgh’s countryside paths.

HADAT’s small team of volunteers continues Alan’s work developing and maintaining our local trails. If you would like to help them you can make an online donation at