UKH

Path Work Completed on Suilven

© Al Todd

This month saw the completion of a major path repair project on Suilven. Over years of heavy use, the standard northern route on the figurehead community-owned mountain had got into a poor state.

Suilven  © Al Todd
Suilven
© Al Todd, Jun 2013

Around 2.5km of the path has now been upgraded, in a partnership project between the John Muir Trust and the community owned Assynt Foundation. The renovation, costing over £200,000, involved two specialist contractors working for nine months over the last two summers.

Path Officer for the John Muir Trust, Chris Goodman, who has been managing the work said, "This is the biggest single project I've been involved with yet. The hard work of the path contractors A.C.T. Heritage and Arran Footpaths has made a massive difference transforming the path and repairing a lot of the damage caused by erosion."

A morass has been replaced with a good firm surface  © Chris Puddephatt
A morass has been replaced with a good firm surface
© Chris Puddephatt

Prior to the work, the evolved path into the north side of the mountain had reached 30m wide in places. Areas lower down had become very boggy, while the steep ascent up to the ridge was increasingly starting to crumble, becoming a scree slope in places.

In total the path repair work used 230 tonnes of stone and 140 tonnes of gravel which were flown in by helicopter, as well as further materials sourced on site. In total well over 100m of stone pitched steps and 60 cross drains were constructed.

The built path has helped stabilise steep eroding areas and means that visitors to Suilven can now enjoy a good quality surface rather than picking their way through exposed peat, trampling the fragile vegetation and further exacerbating erosion. However it is still a challenging walk, points out Chris Goodman.

The steep final ascent has been stabilised, and steps have been built   © Chris Puddephatt
The steep final ascent has been stabilised, and steps have been built
© Chris Puddephatt

Executive Officer for the Assynt Foundation, Gordon Robertson, praised the work saying, "A huge well done to everyone involved for achieving something very special. This clearly demonstrates the value of collaboration, with so many people and organisations working together to achieve a common goal".

The project has been made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Outdoor Conservation Association, John Muir Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Mountaineering Trust, and was delivered as part of the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) Scheme.


This post has been read 3,356 times

Return to Latest News


Support UKH

As climbers we strive to make UKHillwalking.com the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKH Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate UKHillwalking.com then please help us by becoming a UKH Supporter.

UKH Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKH Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

No comments yet
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest