Schiehallion path repairs complete

Footpath specialists have just completed a new phase of path repairs on Perthshire’s world-famous Schiehallion.

Blairgowrie-based footpath specialist, Upland Access, has just completed a new phase of path repairs on Perthshire’s world-famous Schiehallion on behalf of the John Muir Trust, which manages the mountain.

After ten years of regular routine maintenance by volunteers, the Trust recently decided that the time had come to call in professional contrators to tackle some of the more complex repairs.

The Trust's footpath project officer Chris Goodman said: “The path had become more worn and rough over the yerars, and because of the wearing down of the surface on parts of the path, gaps between some of the original steps had become wider, making them more difficult to ascend.

“When this happens, people tend to walk along the short grass and heather that runs along the side of the path. This in turn leads to the path itself becoming wider and more obtrusive. It can also destroy the surrounding vegetation. We’re confident that with these repairs, walkers are less likely to stray off the established footpath, and it’ll be easier to keep it in tip-top condition.”

During the repair work, Upland Access gave two regular volunteers, James Brownhill and David Harris-Burland, the opportunity to work alongside the professionals and learn some of the specialised techniques and tricks of the trade.

James said: “It was a great pleasure to spend a couple of interesting days with Upland Access. They work fast, but also to a really high standard. I’ve looked forward to working with the professionals for some time and the two days were beyond my expectations. Thanks for creating the opportunity and allowing us to be involved."

Matt McConway, who runs Upland Access, added: “I was impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of the John Muir Trust volunteers. The training was an enjoyable experience for our guys too."

Chris Goodman said: “The work experience for James and David will be a boost to the Trust’s volunteer work parties as they’ll be able to share their experience and knowledge and be able to undertake more technical path repairs to a more professional standard.

“We’re grateful to Upland Access for providing us with this opportunity and we hope to be able to provide further training opportunities like this for volunteers over the next few years as we undertake further path repair work across the Trust properties. Thanks also to James and David for giving up their time to come along and help protect our hills."

Help the Trust's work to protect these hills and paths by donating to our Wild Ways Path Fund.