The John Muir Trust is delighted to announce that the Steall Gorge footpath repair programme has been completed to schedule and within budget.
Over the decades, the classic mountain trail that rises high above the Water of Nevis and winds its way through native woodland to the spectacular Steall Ban waterfall had begun to deteriorate.
Now, after three months work by Arran Footpaths, the path has been restored to a robust condition which should protect it against further erosion in the near future.
Chris Goodman, the Footpath Officer of the John Muir Trust, managed the project.
He said: "The aim of the repair work was to make sure that public access could be maintained without compromising the wild and dramatic environment of the gorge, or the rugged character of the path itself.
"The contractors carried out the work to a high standard. We're delighted that the restored path has been restored very much in keeping with the original trail.
"The highly skilled crew of PDG helicopters also played an essential role by getting the stone airlifted in efficiently despite the difficult access and inhospitable terrain.
"Although there is always a possibility of damage caused by extreme weather events, we are optimistic that these repairs, along with continuing maintenance by Trust staff and volunteers, will protect the path for the foreseeable future."
Scott Murdoch of Arran Footpaths said: ‘It was a very technical contract as we had to work around bedrock and big boulders in the ground.’
The contractors will also undertake some ‘light touch’ repairs before the summer to the final section of the path across Steall Meadows and beyond. These works form part of the John Muir Trust’s ongoing commitment to the sensitive long-term management of footpaths on our properties.
The Trust is grateful for the generous funding and support from the Brown Forbes Memorial Fund, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and the Scottish Mountaineering Trust. It is especially grateful to John Muir Trust members and to the wider outdoors community for their generous response to the Trust's fundraising appeal.