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8 Mar 2021

First look at Corrieshalloch plans

A waterfall cascades through a deep ravine.
Corrieshalloch Gorge
Read in: Gàidhlig
The Trust is going to create a Gateway to Nature at Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve.

The Trust has exciting plans to create sensitively designed new visitor facilities on the site of the historical suspension bridge.

These plans include toilets, Wi-Fi, a blue loo for camper vans, improved parking facilities and paths, wayfinding and interpretation around the National Nature Reserve, enabling the 140,000 annual visitors to enjoy an enhanced experience.

The project will also help with the safe and sustainable management of visitors to the National Nature Reserve, ensuring that Corrieshalloch’s built and natural heritage is well-cared for, now and in the future.

With its beautiful location and impressive scenery, Corrieshalloch Gorge has seen a 60% increase in visitor numbers since 2012, with almost 140,000 visitors recorded in 2017/18.

An artist’s impression of the new visitor facilities planned for Corrieshalloch Gorge
An artist’s impression of the new visitor facilities planned for Corrieshalloch Gorge
Online community event

Key project staff will take part in an online event for the local community on Tuesday 16 March at 7pm.

This event runs on Microsoft Teams (no log in needed). The event will open at 18.50.

“Corrieshalloch Gorge is one of Scotland’s natural treasures and needs to be protected, now and for future generations. ”
Clea Warner
General Manager for Highlands & Islands

Clea Warner, General Manager for the Highlands and Islands said: ‘The Trust is really pleased to be progressing with this important project and to sharing more about the plans at our virtual meeting. Many from the local community have shown their support so far and we are very grateful for this.

‘Our plans are to create a gateway to nature and to enhance the experience of this special place, and they can be welcomed in a way that impacts less on the local environment and communities and helps keep the Highlands beautiful for everyone.’

The £2.3 million project has secured £923,277 funding from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund. It’s part of a new, almost £9 million Scottish programme of projects to invest in the Highlands and Islands, to provide more and better quality opportunities for visitors to enjoy natural and cultural heritage assets. The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund is led by NatureScot and is part-funded through the European Development Fund.

The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund will encourage people to visit some of the more remote and rural areas, and create and sustain jobs, businesses and services in local communities. The purpose of the fund is to promote and develop the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands in a way that conserves and protects them.

Led by Catriona Hill, Oberlanders Architects were appointed, along with David Narro (Civil & Structural Engineers), Rybka (Mechanical and Electrical Engineers) and Horner & Maclennan (Landscape Architects) to provide design team services for the Corrieshalloch Gorge Visitor Centre project. Gardiner Theobald are providing Project Management and Quantity Surveying services.

Oberlanders chose their Highlands and Islands’ design team based on excellent previous working relationships and experience of similar projects within rural locations. Oberlanders have extensive experience that will influence their approach on this project, including the Falls of Shin Visitor Centre (near Lairg), North Pier Harbour Building (Oban), Scourie Rocks Geotechnical Centre and Strathnaver Museum.

Catriona Hill, Lead Consultant and Partner at Oberlanders, said: ‘I think Corrieshalloch Gorge must be the Highlands’ best kept secret. It is utterly spectacular and the sense of discovery on my first visit was something I will not forget. I am absolutely delighted to be leading an experienced and enthusiastic design team that will help the National Trust for Scotland to realise their aspirations for new visitor facilities at Corrieshalloch. The site has very particular challenges that will inform our design solutions, and we are looking forward to working together to create facilities that will mean visitors can stop in comfort and truly enjoy the experience. Working closely with the landscape architects, we will ensure that the development will sit comfortably in the natural environment and that the new path network will open up an entirely new experience at the site.’

A logo for the European Regional Development Fund, showing the EU flag beside a Scottish saltire. Next to this logo is the logo for NatureScot, showing a blue and green leaf.

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