UKH

Skye's Fairy Pools to Get New Car Park

Local residents have bought land near the Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle, and plan to build a new 150-space car park in an effort to reduce congestion in the area.

The Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye, 189 kb
The Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye
Dan-gerMouse, May 2015
© Dan Matthewman

This summer saw a huge influx of visitors to Skye, and the media carried stories of the island being 'full'. Among other big name attractions, the so-called Fairy Pools have borne the brunt of a heavily increased footfall in recent years.

The local MSP says that 108,000 people visited the site last year alone.

Thanks, in part, to publicity in 'wild swimming' guides and the travel media, this scenic stretch of the Rive Brittle as it exits Coire na Creiche below the northern Cuillin is now a destination of choice for thousands of visitors, and as a resut path erosion is becoming an issue.

The weight of numbers using the single track Glen Brittle road and the current small car park has led to congestion, as cars and camper vans spill onto verges and passing places. In an area with limited facilities, littering and inconsiderate al fresco toileting are increasingly cited as problems too.

In light of all this the local community, under the auspices of the Minginish Community Hall Association, has become the first in Scotland to make use of a scheme to allow publicly-owned forestry assets to be transferred to local hands.

"The situation at the Fairy Pools has really become too much to bear for local residents who just want to go about their daily lives" said MSP Kate Forbes.

"The single-track road is far too narrow for the volume of traffic parked at the Fairy Pools. We've reached a point where enough is enough and I'm pleased the Scottish government is facilitating the community asset transfer at the Fairy Pools."

"Tourists are welcome on Skye, it's our responsibility to ensure the infrastructure is prepared for them."

Having bought the 12.3 hectares of land for £2500 (rougly one tenth its market value), the community plans to extend the current 35-space car park, making room for 137 cars and roughly 20 minibuses and camper vans.

Julie Burnett, a director of the local community association, said:

"This is a key milestone in the project to provide improved parking facilities close to the Fairy Pools. The community benefit of the land transfer and the overall project cannot be overstated."

"Both residents living in Glen Brittle and future visitors to the Fairy Pools will benefit from the proposal to expand and improve the existing small car park."



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