Award-winning volunteer steers Midlothian Outdoor Festival to success

Arthur McKenzie Midlothian Outdoor Festival volunteer

With Midlothian Outdoor Festival kicking off on Saturday 10 August, the council has paid tribute to one of its most dedicated volunteers who recently won an award for helping keep the county’s countryside open.

Most Active Volunteer award

Arthur McKenzie, 85, scooped the title of Most Active Volunteer at the recent Volunteer Midlothian Volunteer Awards.

Keeping paths cleared

As well as helping run Midlothian Outdoor Festival, Arthur volunteers with the council-run Midlothian Paths Team to create new paths, build drains and cut back vegetation so that walkers, cyclists and horse riders can enjoy our green spaces.

12 years of service

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Land and Countryside, Councillor John Hackett says: “We cannot thank Arthur enough for 12 years of volunteering with the council’s paths team.

Not winding down

“At a time when most of us would be looking forward to putting our feet up, Arthur is a dedicated and very, very active member of the team choosing paths that need attention and then rolling up the sleeves and doing the work.

10,000 volunteering hours

“Thanks to Arthur and our other volunteers, who clock up an astonishing 10,000 volunteering hours annually, we have some of the most attractive and accessible countryside in Scotland showcased during Midlothian Outdoor Festival.”

Keeps him fit

Arthur, who walks up to 30 miles a week in the hills, says volunteering keeps him fit both mentally and physically.

Sense of achievement

He says: “I like the sense of achievement I get from repairing and creating new paths for others to enjoy but I also love walking the paths too.

Going that extra mile

“Being a member of the paths team and working with the Ranger Service is great company. The team goes that extra mile to make the work sociable – there’s even home-made cake.”

Try volunteering

Arthur would encourage others to try volunteering or another activity you enjoy where you can meet new people. He says: “I’d climb the walls if I had to stay in and watch daytime telly.”

1 Aug 2019