Staff blog: The view from Suilven

Our footpath officer Chris Goodman reports on the latest path repair work and a large wildfire on Suilven

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The Suilven path repair project is now well under way. An airlift on 2 and 3 May saw 118 tonnes of stone flown from boulder fields at the foot of Suilven to the path, ready for construction work to begin.

A.C.T. Heritage can now crack on with the major work of transforming a wide and peaty path into something a lot nicer to walk on and help stop further trampling of vegetation and erosion of peat.

Meanwhile Arran Footpaths have already made good progress stabilising some of the very steep and loose sections of the path higher up on Suilven. Getting to site each day involves the contractors walking 11km from Glencanisp before carrying out a day’s hard labour and then the 11km walk back.

Work will continue throughout May and June this year with a second phase of work scheduled for spring 2018.

Suilven burn site May 2017

Wildfire

Unfortunately on the afternoon of 3 May a large wildfire started near Fionn Loch, spread up the south side of Suilven all the way up to the summit (pictured above) and as far west as the primary school in Lochinver.

Dry conditions and brisk south easterly winds meant the fire spread rapidly over a wide area. Seeing the huge area of burnt ground and smelling the ash was pretty sobering. I dread to think how many ground nesting bird’s nests were destroyed along with all the insects, invertebrates and more that couldn’t escape.

If you want to keep up to date with how the work is progressing you can follow the Suilven Path Blogs from a variety of people involved with the project  and see some spectacular photos of the work at Shoot A Pathworker on Flickr.

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