Trust funds community conservation projects
Local projects in North Harris, West Sutherland and the Lake District benefit from the Trust's conservation fund
Last year, the Trust awarded £4,250 for a range of wild land projects – on or around our properties and partnerships – with the aim of benefiting the local community and the environment. Grants went towards funding a survey of three popular footpaths in North Harris; a Wellies and Wildlife booklet for the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust and a feasibility study to turn an old lead mine into a new attraction in the Lake District.
We contributed £2,500 towards the cost of a survey of three popular upland footpaths in North Harris: the Huisinis cliff path, the Loch Leosaid link path and the Loch a’ Ghlinne path.
“The path network a key asset for us, allowing people to safely access the most remote regions of this mountainous island,” said Gordon Cumming of the North Harris Trust.
“One of our most spectacular walks takes visitors from the machair of Huisinis along coastal cliffs to the remote beaches of Mheilen and Cravadale across from the Isle of Scarp. This is a challenging but highly rewarding route offering views over the Atlantic, with St Kilda often seen on the horizon.
“Originally the path was built to link long since deserted villages. Beautifully built with local stone, it is now overdue some major repairs. The North Harris Trust recently opened the Huisinis Gateway a new visitor facility, which happens to be near the start of the path. So repairing this route has become a real priority.
“The path survey funded by the John Muir Trust has given us crucial information. We now know what needs to be done where and how much it is likely to cost. This will prove invaluable as we move forward to secure a funding packing and plan for the construction works.”
The Trust contributed £1,000 to the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust to help develop a nature booklet – Wellies and Wildlife – aimed at interpreting the wildlife and habitats of the area for locals and visitors. Dr Shona Marshall of the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust said: “Getting people to engage with the natural world is a really important way of getting them to look after it. We have a large, wild area and helping people to explore it and learn about it in a safe manner can only be good.”
The Trust also donated £750 to a project led by Tim Clarke of Patterdale Parish Council which is exploring the potential development of the dilapidated Greenside mine as an educational and tourist asset for the communities of Glenridding and Patterdale in the Lake District.
The John Muir Trust’s head of land mangement, Mike Daniels, said: "The grants awarded showcase the diversity of ecological, educational and economic activity on land that is managed by the Trust and its partners. We look forward to monitoring the progress of these projects and the benefits they bring to wild places, local people and visitors."
Photo by Alan McCombes shows Huisinis peninsula in North Harris.