An inspiring volunteer has transformed an abandoned underpass into a friendly, woodland-themed pathway for the local community.

The underpass had fallen into disrepair with broken glass and graffiti causing locals to abandon the route and there were repeated reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Gail Scoular decided to take matters into her own hands to ensure the area of Spateston would be safe and welcoming for her fellow residents.

Gail said: “Working as a Senior Warden, I saw we were having numerous complaints about the area through fires being set and it being used as a drinking den.

“I knew that local residents were avoiding the area and having to cross a busy road instead of using the underpass, so I decided to do something about it to make my community better.

“In my own time, I contacted the council, local businesses and my local area committee to request help and I was delighted to be supported to carry out this project.”

The Community Payback Team painted the underpass into a woodland theme as a nod to Spateston’s past before houses were built in the area and have made it a bright, welcoming place for young and old alike.

New lighting has also been installed by the Street Lighting Team to improve visibility and ensure the safety of residents.

Photo: Arlene Clark, Finco, presenting Gail with flowers for her work

£1000 was kindly donated towards the project by Persimmons Homes, the Johnstone and the Villages Local Area Committee awarded £600 and local company Finco donated three waste bins to be used in the area.

Gail added: “The funding allowed a lot of work to take place to bring the underpass back into a clean, safe place for people to use.

“I have to thank everyone who helped out in different ways to make this a reality including different departments within the council and local businesses.

“I’m so proud of the transformation and it just shows what can be achieved with a little determination and a desire to make the area where you live a better place.”

Since the underpass was transformed, there has been no further graffiti or instances of anti-social behaviour reported in the area.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a fantastic example of community spirit this project has been and one that shows what our Team Up to Clean Up campaign is all about.

“Gail’s desire to make a difference to her community is inspiring and she has managed to bring an area which locals had been uneasy to use back to the community.

“My thanks go to Gail and all the volunteers and partners who made this positive change possible.”

The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has been allocated £2.5million over the next five years to make a difference to the local environment in Renfrewshire.

The campaign aims to make the area a brighter, more attractive place to live, work and visit and is working to change the behaviour of those in Renfrewshire who fail to take care of their community.

An enhanced programme of operational activity is underway to clean gullies, sweep the roads and repair the roads infrastructure and this is being supplemented through the support of local communities to carry out clean ups within their area.