First phase of Skye footpath repairs on track

Thanks to all who contributed to our Wild Ways Path Fund, work on the path from Glen Sligachan to Loch Coruisk has begun

Skye druim hain march 2016   donald g by chris goodman detail

The name Druim Hain may not mean much to many people but for Arran Footpaths it’s meant four months of a long walk to work, shifting 140 tonnes of stone by hand, transplanting 750 m² of vegetation and battling gale force winds and driving rain to restore 340 metres of footpath.

The path from Glen Sligachan to Loch Coruisk leads over the ridge of Druim Hain and as it climbs out of the glen had been badly damaged by heavy rain over the years and becoming  a 6 metre wide gully visible from Sligachan 8 kilometres away. This scar was continuing to worsen and the loose stones made it very unpleasant to walk along.

As part of the Trust’s ongoing path project, this path was prioritised for major repair work which – due to the scale of the erosion – is being carried out in phases over several years. This winter's work concentrated on the most badly damaged 340 metres of the path and required 140 tonnes of stone to be airlifted to the site to construct steps and drainage features. Substantial work was also carried out to revegetate some of the bare ground and speed up recovery of the site.

The combination of logistics, remote site and intensive work has meant the project has cost around £200 per metre of path to repair. Further work is also required lower down on this path where a 1.6 kilometres requires varying levels of repairs to stop it eroding further. It’s hoped that this work can be carried out over the next few years if enough funding can be secured.

The Trust's footpath officer Chris Goodman said: "Looking at the finished work on a sunny March day, with golden eagles soaring overhead, it’s hard to recall how it looked six months ago and what it’s been like for the team working through the wettest Scottish winter on record.

"At least they’ve been treated to a final week of blue sky and will take away with them some fond memories of working in the heart of this dramatic glen overlooked by the towering summits of the Cuillins."

Thanks to everyone who supported phase one of the path work including: the Brown Forbes Memorial Fund, The Scottish Mountaineering Trust, the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust, the Hugh Fraser Foundation, the Kestrelman Trust and the Alan Evans Memorial Trust.

If you’d like to support our ongoing path project and help us carry out vital repair work visit our Wild Ways page. To find out more about the Trust’s path project, contact our path officer Chris Goodman.

Skye Druim Hain March 16 raven