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History of the Mountains for People Project

The Trust looks after 82 high-level routes across the seven mountain properties of Arran, Ben Lawers, Ben Lomond, Glencoe, Kintail/West Affric, Mar Lodge Estate and Torridon.

Our involvement in mountain and wild land care began back in 1937 with the publication of Percy Unna's guiding principles. Before 2003, upland path-work was carried out as and when required in small areas of the Trust's mountain properties.

Although some of our best work was completed during this time, it was felt that a more systematic and proactive approach was required. So we began assessing every metre of our upland paths, grading them to give a measured account of both the current damage and the repair costs. Five-yearly path audits have taken place on all routes ever since, allowing us to fine-tune our maintenance plans and budget for the work required.

In 2003, the Trust launched the Scotland's Mountain Heritage project to conserve the 376 miles of mountain paths in the Trust's care. It ran until 2008 and set the standard for upland path repair and maintenance.

So we've been at the forefront of upland path conservation for a while now! Our maintenance and conservation techniques have provided path specialists across Britain with a model for best practice. For much of the last decade we ran training courses in path conservation techniques, and many of the 40 people who attended these have gone on to enjoy successful careers in the industry, including members of the Trust's in-house Mountain Path Management Team.

It's vital to ensure all this good work is honoured by not allowing our upland paths to deteriorate. Both the Mountains for People project and the Mountain Path Management Team are committed to conserving and maintaining the Trust's network of upland paths for future generations to enjoy.

The future for Scotland's mountain paths is looking bright!