From Jock's Road to Ben A'an, popular upland trails across Scotland's two National Parks are being upgraded as part of a five-year project. The aim is to rebuild eroded sections of some of the country's most heavily used paths.
Led by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust, the Mountains & The People project brings together the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authorities, plus Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Regular walkers on Meikle Pap, Jock’s Road, Stob Binnien and Ben A’an may already have noticed recent upgrades. Next up for work include damaged paths on Ben Ledi, Mount Keen and Beinn a'Ghlo.
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.”
The Mountains and the People project aims to preserve and improve the unique upland habitats of our national parks, recognising that the lure of the mountains as a recreational, social and, at times, spiritual retreat brings not only great benefit to those visiting, but also has a physical impact on the landscape itself.
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 info see: www.themountainsandthepeople.org.uk
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