NEW life has been breathed into an historic Greenock glen after three years of painstaking work.

Volunteers have been hard at work in Auchmountain Glen to open it up to the public.

A series of improvements, including a new stairway with rails, have been installed at the beauty spot in the east end.

Charlie McCallum, a committee member of the Auchmountain Glen Group, said: "There are new concrete stairs and a rail from the bottom all the way to the top of the glen.

"It's taken them three years and they have done a great job - you have to remember that these are volunteers and are not paid in any way."

The group received a welcome boost from from Inverclyde Community Development Trust, who set up safety screens in the high areas of the glen where there could be a danger of young children falling.

The council is going to strengthen a bridge and Charlie says volunteers have also drained the path and laid stones to make it more accessible.

He said: "It has really opened up the glen.

"The next job is to put in a four-inch raised path with a special surface with composite materials running throughout the length of the glen.

"We don't know where we will get the money but we hope that the Trust will give us a hand."

Charlie's other ambition is to make the hidden gem fully accessible for people using wheelchairs.

He said: "We have access halfway up to the first bridge but we would like to create a viewing point where they can sit at the waterfall.

"We would need a lot of help from the landowner and council to do that."

Another project in the pipeline is to create an entrance to properly put the glen on the map, with help being sought from RIG Arts

Charlie says the glen offers people peace and tranquility and has come into its own during the coronavirus lockdown.

He said: "You can't hear the world outside, all you can hear is the water running and the birds singing.

"During the lockdown I've seen young lads and young mothers out with their families almost every day.

"People from all over Greenock and Port Glasgow have visited the glen and said it's a treat to see what the team have done."