1686141433 Appeal to support the road repair campaign Its up to | phillipspacc

Appeal to support the road repair campaign It’s up to us


A new campaign, It’s up to us, has been launched by mountaineering scotland and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland (OATS) to raise funds to repair roads in one of Scotland’s most iconic mountains.

The aim is to raise £300,000 over three years for improvement works on the hill path from Dundonnell at An Teallach in Wester Ross.

The initiative also aims to raise awareness of the need to invest in the repair and maintenance of informal mountain paths located on land outside Scotland’s national parks and NGO properties.

It’s Up to Us will focus on engaging government, stakeholder agencies and organizations, outdoor businesses, and all trail users to ensure essential funding for trail repair and habitat restoration is recognized for its social benefits, health and well-being, economic and environmental.

Building on this, Mountaineering Scotland and OATS will develop a long-term, sustainable funding model for mountain road maintenance projects to improve access to investment for all mountain roads in Scotland.

Repairs to a footpath on Teallach Hill

The £300,000 restoration project will tackle decades of erosion caused by the cumulative impact of increased human activity and Scottish weather extremes.

The campaign has identified An Teallach as an example of a popular mountain trail on privately owned land with no government funding currently available.

The campaign has already been the beneficiary of a generous donation of £100,000 60he Anniversary Diamond Grant Award from the Scottish Mountaineering Trust and has garnered the support of many well-known outdoor adventurers and social media influencers.

Outdoor enthusiasts, active tourism companies and organizations who care deeply about Scotland’s hills and mountains are encouraged to step up and give back by donating to the fundraising campaign It’s Up to Us.

In other words, it is up to all of us to give back to the mountainous environment from which we benefit.

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(L-R) Stuart Younie, CEO of Mountaineering Scotland, Dougie Baird, CEO of OATS, Brian Shackleton, Chairman of Mountaineering Scotland, John Fowler, Chairman of the Scottish Mountaineering Trust and Duncan Bryden, Chairman of OATS (Credit: Helen Gestwicki)

Mountaineering Scotland CEO Stuart Younie said: “Scotland’s informal network of hill and mountain trails play a vital role in helping us enjoy the physical and mental benefits of being active in the great outdoors, which has never been more apparent than during the pandemic.

“Active tourism also makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy and local Highland communities. We need to recognize the cumulative impact of recreational activity and extreme weather due to climate change on our landscape and do something positive to address it so future generations can continue to enjoy it. »

Outdoor Access Trust Scotland CEO Dougie Baird added: “The fundraising appeal will highlight how walkers, mountaineers and conservationists can come together to solve montane road erosion problems on private land across Scotland.

“However, we no longer have access to European funding, which has provided significant support for road and habitat restoration projects in the past, with no government funding to replace it.

“It is vital to the success of It’s Up to Us campaign in which we engage with governments and stakeholders to highlight the desperate need for investment in mountain roads and a long-term sustainable model that gives all owners access to funds for essential mountain road maintenance” .

Writer and presenter Cameron McNeish, It’s Up to Us Ambassador, said: “It’s Up to Us is such an important project for all the people who love to walk the hills and mountains of Scotland.

“The original tracks and trails in our hills were never built to support the number of people who use them now, so it’s up to all of us to come together in every way we can and keep them looking good.”

John Fowler, Chairman of the Scottish Mountaineering Trust, said: « There were several valuable offers for the Diamond Grant, but the trustees were really impressed with the innovative approach that OATS and Mountaineering Scotland have come up with. »

Visit savemountainpaths.scot For more information and to follow the latest campaign news using the hashtags: #It depends on us and #SaveMountainRoads

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Road erosion at An Teallach. Credit: OATS/Dougie Baird
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Fireplace. Credit: Keith Bryers

More details: It’s up to us

After 20 years of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, VisitScotland estimates the annual economic impact of walking tourism to be £1.6bn. [Scotland’s networks of paths and trails: key research findings – SNH, 2018]. The cumulative impact of increased human activity, coupled with Scottish climate extremes, has had a major impact on the erosion of mountain roads and the degradation of surrounding habitats across the country.

As it stands, there is no public investment from the UK and Scottish governments to support essential mountain trail and habitat restoration work outside of Scottish national parks and NGO properties.

Most of Scotland’s hills and mountains, most of which are on privately owned land, are excluded. Brexit has exacerbated the situation for private landlords, as once significant European funding is no longer available or replaced.

Many mountain road and trail users take mountain roads for granted, not realizing the cost of road construction and the lack of funding for restoration projects. NatureScot estimated road repairs to average £90 per meter in 2019, although costs are often substantially more than this.