A north-east community group is causing a “buzz” thanks to its Halloween trail.
Community CleanUP was established in January this year by Mike Scotland and within days a series of clean-ups had been arranged for the Muggiemoss Riverside.
To date, volunteers have managed to remove almost 10,000 kilograms of litter alongside the riverside.
The group has even managed to bring otters back upstream for the first time in almost 40 years.
Now the volunteers have installed a Halloween Hub and fairy door trail by the riverside for children and adults alike to enjoy.
Mike said: “We have a group chat where we throw messages back and forth, and that’s where the idea for the Halloween trail originated.
“When we knew trick or treating was likely to be cancelled, we wanted to be able to provide something for kids within the community so they could come down and relax with their families and create those memories.
“For a lot of the kids, they may not have experienced Halloween before, so we wanted to fill that void.
“We have a ghost trail where you can solve riddles and find ghouls along the trail.
“We managed to get some support from local companies. Tesco donated some sweets, props and Halloween pumpkins.
“A lot of the local community donated their own Halloween items which has been great.
“It’s a real community effort and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s involvement.”
The trail also features a viewing platform where people can go to relax.
Mike added: “It’s a raised platform over the water where people can come down and sit.
“There are lights for night time, there’s a telescope, a bird-feeding station, and there’s even a dog bed and bowl.
“There’s someone down there all the time. There’s a real buzz around the place.
“There are families and children but also a lot of senior citizens, they know the history of the area but they’ve never really been down there because it’s been too dangerous.
“They’re now able to see the river from a different angle.”
Mike, who also runs mental health support group ManUp SpeakUp, told how an encounter with a cyclist inspired him to create Community CleanUP.
He said: “I was clearing up one day by the roadside and a cyclist stopped and asked me what I was doing.
“He handed me a glove he had found which is quite symbolic now, he quite literally lent me a hand.
“From there on, the group went global. We managed to run events in Ghana, Vietnam, and Muggiemoss all on the same day which was really cool.
“The group itself has just over 3,400 followers.
“It’s directed towards litter picking but the hidden message is physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing.
“The people who show up want to be there for a reason, whether it’s because they are lonely or want to have conversations with like-minded individuals.
“We want to try and make it an education hub in the future, which is the goal.
“We want to educate people on the things that might not be there as a result of littering.”
To find out more about Community CleanUP, visit facebook.com/groups/2955714191127330