Warning

Many properties, especially our countryside places, have been affected by damage from Storm Arwen. Please check the specific property pages before visiting. There may also be local road closures.

Footpath Fund

Will you help us protect Scotland’s iconic landscapes?
A man holds a spade in a valley on a mountainside.

Footpath Fund

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The Trust cares for 245 miles of mountain paths across Scotland. Our footpaths need to withstand the effects of many thousands of pairs of hiking boots and walking poles as well as the temperamental Scottish weather – anything from baking sunshine to ice and snow, sometimes in the same day!

If not maintained and repaired, our footpaths can quickly become eroded. Walkers may then form ‘new’ paths, leaving ugly scars on the landscape and often causing the unintentional destruction of the surrounding delicate ecosystems and our native flora and fauna.

The lockdown periods during the pandemic have delayed our programme of work; the weather has then been able to further wear away and damage footpaths scheduled for repair. On top of this, our footpaths are being used more than ever now that restrictions have eased; we’re racing against the clock to ensure the paths can withstand the extra boots.

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The Footpath Fund is a vital source of support for our mountain landscapes. Upland Path Manager Bob Brown explains more in the video below:

The Footpath Fund

Transcript

Hi, I’m Bob Brown, the Upland Path Manager for the National Trust for Scotland.

I’m in Torridon today.

It was stunningly beautiful a minute ago and now we’re back to hail, so normal kind of Highland weather really.

This is what my team encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Work doesn’t stop because of the weather. We might adapt the sites that we’re on but the work has to continue.

My team are out on the hill at the moment maintaining the paths, both to maintain access for you all to enjoy but also to protect this stunning and fragile landscape.

The annual Footpath Fund appeal is vital to pay for this work – it can’t be done without it, so thank you.

Thank you very much again for all your donations.

Please will you help Scotland’s footpaths survive the impacts of COVID-19?

  • £24 could help buy spades, mattocks or other hand tools
  • £48 could help us care for 1.2m of footpath, clear out vital ditching or restore a section of trampled ground
  • £72 can help us fund an airlift of repair materials

All-weather work

We look after Scotland’s footpaths all year round. That means we brave the sun, wind, snow, rain – and even swarms of midges!

Tough conditions

Transcript

National Trust for Scotland Mountain Path Team: Tough Conditions

How do you feel, Ben?
It's a beautiful day.
[they laugh]
[laughter] Are you warm in your midge net?
Yeah.
Well, you can't beat it!
Blue skies, sunshine ...
and millions of midges.
Millions.
[whimpering]
[whimpering continues]
You going home?
[laughter]

Footpaths in the future

While we’re tackling the consequences of the pandemic on our footpath work, we’re also planning ahead to ensure the Trust’s path network is in the best possible condition.

We would like to:

  • Continue pre-emptive work to counter the effects of increased visitor numbers and climate change on our natural habitats and footpaths.
  • Conduct an audit on the state of our lowland paths and develop a plan of work to ensure they’re also maintained to the highest standards.
  • Trial new repair techniques, ensuring our work continues to be as effective and sustainable as possible.
  • Progress with our ambitious mountain path restoration plan, tackling damaged sites at Ben Lawers, Ben Lomond, Glencoe, Arran, Torridon and Kintail.
Footpath Fund

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