John Muir Trust lands funding for urgent repairs to piopular Glen Nevis path.
A John Muir Trust project to repair the heavily-used Steall Gorge footpath in Glen Nevis has won £25,000 in funding in an online competition organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association.
EOCA is a body financed by the European outdoors industry with the aim of putting money back into conservation projects worldwide, so far the body has contributed almost 900,000 euros to 36 different causes with the recipients determined by online voting.
The win means that the leading conservation charity will receive the money to go towards urgent repairs to the Steall Gorge path in Glen Nevis, Lochaber after winning out over similar conservation projects from right across Europe.
Fran Lockhart, the Trust’s Nevis property manager, said: “Over the last two weeks we’ve had a tremendous response from our members, local people and many others across the UK who value this wild place. I’d like to thank everyone who voted for our project to help us win the funding.
“We had stiff competition, including a German charity with around a million members, so it’s staggering to have received so much support.
“Steall Gorge is really important to a lot of people, which is why it’s vital to repair the path and keep it safe to use. This money will go a long way towards covering the cost of the work, and helping to protect the adjacent fragile woodland and montane habitats.”
There are between thirty and forty distinct paths on Trust land, ranging from woodland walks and coastal routes to upland paths giving access to the summits of seven Munros and five Corbetts.
The Trust has a policy of carrying out low-key path maintenance on existing paths in order to prevent excessive wear and erosion of the environment, while keeping visual intrusion to a minimum. This year it has recruited specialist staff to work proactively on projects such as the Steall Gorge repairs to ensure maintenance issues are dealt with before they become more serious problems.
Fran added, "We want to give people the opportunity to walk in and enjoy the wild places in our care in ways that respect and protect surrounding habitats and wildlife. The repairs on the Steall Gorge will reverse existing damage and strengthen spots where there could be a problem in the future.”
The Trust will launch a further appeal to support the repairs to Steall Gorge, and other footpaths later this year.
More about the work of the John Muir Trust at www.jmt.org and about EOCA at www.outdoorconservation.eu.