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Eroded footpath on Beinn a Ghlo in southern Cairngorms to be repaired after fundraising campaign through BMC and Mountaineering Scotland

By Philip Murray

The eroded footpath on Beinn a Ghlo.
The eroded footpath on Beinn a Ghlo.

AN UNSIGHTLY scar on a Cairngorm mountain will soon blight the landscape no more after restoration campaigners hit their target.

Work is set to begin next month repairing the footpath up Beinn a Ghlo in the southern Cairngorms. The eroded 'trench' has been a visible eyesore from the A9 for years. The restoration is expected to last four months and cost £60,000.

The cash was raised through the Mend Out Mountains: Make One Million appeal, which has run over the last year, and headed by the BMC UK-wide and Mountaineering Scotland north of the border.

In Scotland it aimed to raise £100,000. The remaining £40,000 is being spent repairing an eroded path on Ben Vane in the Arrochar Alps.

Stuart Younie, chief executive of Mountaineering Scotland said: “This has been a great project to raise funds for badly needed path restoration projects on two very popular mountains.

"It’s fantastic to see so many people getting outdoors enjoying the countryside and the benefits of getting physically active but one of the unfortunate legacies is the wear and tear on our hill paths and tracks. I’d like to thank everyone in the outdoors community who has embraced our collective responsibility to help look after the hills and been involved supporting Mend our Mountains.”

All the pathwork is being overseen and coordinated by the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland.

Dougie Baird, CEO of Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, said: “These are two of the most eroded paths in the UK, and repairing the damage will be so important for both the landscape and the visitor experience.

"With public funds under so much pressure, it was important that the public support this type of work and we are delighted that those who care for the mountains took this opportunity to give something back.’’

Carey Davies, BMC hill walking officer and lead for the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal, said: “A few scruffy paths might not sound like a big problem, but the consequences of path erosion can be really serious. Without intervention these scars can grow to 30 metres or more across – as wide as a motorway.

"That scarring can endanger rare vegetation or wildlife, disturb habitats, expose carbon-capturing peat or harm the health of waterways.

"It is fantastic that these repair projects can now go ahead having smashed their targets, and it is testament to the great affinity so many people have for the Scottish landscape, both in Scotland and beyond.”

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