Trust completes £60k footpath repair work on Skye’s Blà Bheinn

Contractors have finished restoration work on the 3.8km footpath that rises 928 metres to the spectacular summit of the ‘Blue Mountain’ on the edge of the Cuillin.

In 2014, the John Muir Trust, which looks after Blà Bheinn, won £24,000 in an online poll organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association towards the costs. The Trust followed this up with an appeal among its members and supporters to raise the balance to fund the project.

Chris Goodman, Footpath Manager for the John Muir Trust said: “This was a substantial piece of work that included building 100 metres of stone steps and a helicopter lift of materials.

“It also involved major drainage construction on sections of the path that been badly scarred by gullying.”

Because of its popularity with hillwalkers and mountaineers from across Europe, and its exposure to fierce Atlantic weather systems, the Blà Bheinn path had begun to suffer serious erosion, with a gaping seven metre wide scar visible from a great distance.

Walkers coming down the slope were forced to make an unpleasant trek through sections of loose boulders.

Chris said: “We strongly encourage people to explore the mountains and at the same time we take responsibility for maintaining footpaths in good condition.

“Where possible we use light touch, sensitive, minimal intervention techniques, but in some places significant damage can only be rectified by this kind of major repair work.

“Looking to the future, we are aiming to focus on more pre-emptive action to prevent serious erosion before it occurs.

“This work has cost the best part of £60,000 and we’d like to thank all our members and supporters, as well as those who voted for us in the online poll earlier this year to help us secure a large part of the funding.”