Suilven path project successfully completed
Community celebrates opening of a newly fixed path on one of Assynt's most popular mountains - Suilven near Lochinver
This September, local people of all ages gathered to celebrate the completion of a major path repair project on the popular community-owned mountain, Suilven near Lochinver.
The £200,000 project - involving two specialist contractors, working for nine months over the past two summers, repairing and upgrading 2.5km of the path - has been delivered as part of the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) Scheme.
The John Muir Trust worked in partnership with the community owned Assynt Foundation to give the path up the spectacular mountain a well-needed renovation. Executive Officer for the Assynt Foundation, Gordon Robertson, praised the work saying: “A huge well done to everyone involved for achieving something very special. This clearly demonstrates the value of collaboration, with so many people and organisations working together to achieve a common goal”.
John Muir Trust path officer Chris Goodman, who has been project managing the work, said: “This is the biggest single project I’ve been involved with yet. The hard work of the path contractors A.C.T. Heritage and Arran Footpaths has made a massive difference transforming the path and repairing a lot of the damage caused by erosion.”
In total the path repair work used 230 tonnes of stone and 140 tonnes of gravel which were flown in by helicopter as well as further materials sourced on site. In total well over 100m of stone pitched steps and 60 cross drains were constructed. The built path means that visitors walking out to Suilven can follow a good quality path, rather than picking their way through exposed peat and trampling fragile vegetation.
Pupils from Lochinver and Achiltibuie primary schools helped celebrate the completion of the project with an outdoor learning day at Glencanisp, organised and delivered in collaboration with CALLP’s Outdoor and Woodland Learning project and the North West Highland Geopark. It included interactive workshops on the geology of Suilven, the tools and techniques used to repair the path, and artistic interpretation.
Chris Puddephatt's photograph shows the ceremonial untying of the ribbon to open the path which all the pupils hope to use to one day climb Suilven.
See more of Chris Puddephat’s photographs of the Suilven Path Project
Read Chris Goodman's staff blog about the successful completion of the project.