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31 Aug 2023

Path repairs to start on Nevis

Our appeal for funds to make essential path repairs on Ben Nevis path has had a fantastic response so far! This means we can start work, but can you donate and help us finish the job?

Ben Nevis heading up by Alex Gillespie

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the Ben Nevis Path Appeal so far, with special mention to The Big Give Green Match Fund, Brown Forbes Memorial Fund, the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust and Mrs M. Thin.

Thanks to your generosity we have almost reached our target of £50,000… Can you help us by making a donation?

The work is needed to protect fragile habitats and ensure that people can enjoy this spectacular wild place long into the future.

Currently, more than 160,000 people visit Ben Nevis every year. This high footfall, coupled with harsh weather conditions has caused the surface of the path on the upper mountain to deteriorate. In the worst spots, the surface has become so rough that walkers have been taking shortcuts to bypass them. This has weakened the edge of the path and threatens to allow runaway erosion to take place. This would cause severe damage to the rare ecosystem found on Britain's highest peak.

Our plan is to prevent this from happening by strengthening the path edges in vulnerable spots and "de-roughening" the path surface to make it easier to walk along. This will reduce the number of people taking shortcuts, slowing the rate of erosion.

As you can imagine, carrying out building work high up on an exposed mountainside is challenging. While we will be able to do a lot of building work with stone already on site, some sections will require extra materials to be imported. We do this to minimise disturbance to the rare geology found on this part of the mountain. With no vehicle access, this must be done by helicopter - an expensive affair!

The funds raised mean our contractors ACT Heritage can start work at several locations above 700m on the Zig Zags, between the Red Burn crossing and the Summit, by arranging for a helicopter to lift approximately 50 tonnes of stone to 10 work sites.

The helicopter lifts are due to take place on Thursday 28 September 2023 and will involve at least 50 journeys. The path will remain open, but walkers may be delayed for up to 30 mins at a time, while bags are lowered to the 10 locations.

Purple mosses - David Lintern

Ben Nevis Path Repairs Appeal

Help us carry out urgent path repairs and protect alpine habitats

Donate now