Friday 7 July 2023

It's Up To Us: campaign for upland paths by Mountaineering Scotland and Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland

An Teallach

There's no way round it. The paths we walk in the hills and mountains are hammered by our boots and shoes. The more popular the path the greater and faster the wear and tear. Weather extremes, which are increasing, have an adverse effect too. Too many of our upland paths are becoming badly eroded, damaging to the environment, eyesores, and often unpleasant to walk on (the last being a reason so many spread out as the most badly damaged sections are avoided for the edges).

The solution is maintenance of course, regular maintenance. If neglected too long a complete reconstruction may be needed. 

Path work is slow and laborious. It takes time and many hands. That means it takes money, a great deal of money. One metre of path costs on average £90 to repair and at least 410km of paths are in need of serious repair.

This new It's Up To Us campaign from Mountaineering Scotland and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland calls on all who care about our hills - hillwalkers, mountaineers, organisations, businesses and more - to contribute.

Initially the campaign aims to raise £300,000 for path repairs on An Teallach, one of the great mountains of the Scottish Highlands.

Beyond this fund-raiser the campaign aims to develop a long-term model for funding upland paths in conjunction with landowners and government, something that is sorely needed.

Rapidly increasing erosion on a path on Carn Ban Mor above Glen Feshie, a popular route to the Munro Sgor Gaoith

This is an excellent campaign that should be supported by all of us who love the Scottish hills. I am pleased and honoured to be one of the 16 ambassadors helping and promoting the scheme. You'll be hearing about it from me again!

You can sign up to learn more and to donate here.

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