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Mountain paths boosted by new funds

Posted 28 March 2012
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Mountain paths boosted by new funds
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Thousands of people like to go walking in the Highlands every year and the mountain paths invariably take a hammering. But as in England, much attention has been paid to the need to raise charitable funds to support repair work. 

Many areas of upland are owned by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and it has been working hard at caring for footpaths in its Mountains for People project.

And the good news is that this undertaking has just received a major boost in the form of a £30,000 donation by the Scottish Mountaineering Trust (SMT), the charitable arm of the Scottish Mountaineering Club.

Begun in 2009, Mountains for People is a four-year project, although the SMT grant is spread over three years.

But the cash should help complete the work of the project, which manager Bob Brown noted now has 18 miles of outstanding paths left to tackle.

He commented: "Our work on this project has tackled some of the most challenging mountain path problems on Trust land, from the summit of Sgurr Mhor in Torridon to the top of Cir Mhor on Arran. From glen to summit, the project has been able to restore and redress some of the most eroded paths the Trust manages." 

Of course, repairing the erosion caused by thousands of walking boots will help create an environment for more walkers to come along and enjoy, so the work will be never-ending.

But the ongoing task of conservation may help serve as a reminder that the environment is a fragile one and can never be taken for granted, all of which may make many walkers glad some of the best of the Highland mountains are owned by the NTS.

It owns large parts of Glencoe, where some of the finest hiking and scrambling in Britain can be enjoyed, whether on the airy and vertigo-inducing Aonach Eagach or the towering heights of Bidean nam Bian and Buachaille Etive Mor.

Hikers may also particularly enjoy the high mountains of the Lawers range, with Ben Lawers standing at 3,982 ft - the tenth highest mountain in Scotland.

The path to that peak is a busy one, leading up from a National Trust Visitor Centre. But with the cash made available by the SMT, this and so many other paths will be kept in good order to help ensure an enjoyable hike to the top.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801328057-ADNFCR