A barricade on a popular path near Penicuik Estate has been removed after a long running legal battle between a local resident and Midlothian Council came to an end this month.
A neighbour dispute led to the barricade being erected at Cairnbank Road in June 2016 and it remained there until last week.
News that the path has now been re-opened to the public has delighted locals.
Penicuik Community Council member Mose Hutchison said: “That’s great to hear. It’s fantastic that it’s open again.
“A lot of people walk along there and cyclists come up that way, all the way from Musselburgh. The barrier was stopping them getting access to the estate.
“Local people will be over the moon that the path is open again.
“It’s a shame it has taken so long to resolve the issue. I would have said it should have been a police matter.
“Though it’s just great that it’s open again.”
Mose, who is also involved in organising the annual Penicuik Hunter and Lass Festival, explained that the path is very well used by locals and visitors.
He said: “The Hunter and Lass Festival used to use it for the Saturday ride out but couldn’t when the barricade was up.
“It’s very well used by the general public. With people coming from Penicuik House into Penicuik, it can be quite busy. So a lot of folk will be delighted to hear it’s open again.”
A Midlothian Council spokeswoman said: “The court action about the Cairnbank access path has now nearly concluded and the path has re-opened.
“The gate is currently unlocked and the public may once again take reasonable access across the path. It is anticipated the owners of the path will remove all obstacles by January 31.”