The Mountains & The People
The project comprises six different elements:
The Upland Path Programme will upgrade, enhance and repair a range of prioritised routes including severely eroded paths on Beinn A Ghlo, Ben Ledi and Mount Keen.
The Training Programme will run vocational training courses to provide young people with the necessary accredited skills to take up employment opportunities created by the maintenance of Scotland’s mountains and elsewhere.
The Conservation Volunteer Programme will recruit, train, guide and support volunteers from major urban centres to carry out practical weekend work supporting the Upland Path Programme.
The Adopt a Path Programme will recruit, train, guide and support volunteers in monitoring the condition of paths across both National Parks in order to avoid problems going undetected.
The Education Programme will coordinate the creation of opportunities for schools, colleges and universities to become involved in the monitoring, care and management of upland paths in both National Parks.
The Visitor Information Programme will liaise and coordinate with visitor management services in both National Parks to ensure visitors are made aware of the importance of managing upland paths and the part they can play.
For more information about the project and the partners involved visit www.themountainsandthepeople.org.uk
Scotland’s National Parks mountain paths are being given a serious overhaul with more than 24km of paths having been restored this year and another 100km of repairs planned over the next three and a half years.
With some of the most impressive landscapes, historic towns and unique wildlife, it’s no wonder that Scotland’s two National Parks play host to over 5.5 million visitors each year. But huge numbers of visitors (and the Scottish weather!) comes at a price – the erosion of mountain paths and the destruction of nearby habitats.
The Mountains & The People project led by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust, brings together Scotland’s two National Park Authorities, Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, alongside Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund, in a unique conservation partnership. This five-year project is all about preserving and improving the unique upland habitats of our National Parks and includes not only the restoration of our mountain paths but a full and varied training, conservation, volunteering and educational programme as well.
Dougie Baird, CEO of Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust, explained; “We are making significant progress with the restoration and upgrading of upland paths and are on track to complete all 124km of paths by mid-2020 as planned. We have a fantastic team working on this project who are not only extremely knowledgeable but who are also totally committed to achieve every milestone put in front of them.”
So, if you are a regular walker on Meikle Pap, Jock’s Road, Stob Binnien or Ben A’an, you will no doubt once again, be enjoying your walking experience on these newly restored routes. With countless more paths already restored - and many more still to come - Scotland’s National Parks look set to continue to be a fantastic playground for all to enjoy for years to come.