Protecting the Peaks Together

Work to begin on Ben Nevis Mountain Path

Path Signs

Press Release: From the Nevis Landscape Partnership

Vital work has begun this week on Britain’s highest mountain to upgrade and repair over three kilometres of the Ben Nevis Mountain Path. This ambitious project will stabilise and improve over half the total length of the track between Achintee and St. John’s Wall as part of a £1m project lead by Nevis Landscape Partnership and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

In total the work will take three years to complete, with this year’s contracts running from now until March 2016 to avoid the mountain’s extremely busy spring/summer period. The work carried out each year will dramatically improve this world class route.

The work sites present major safety considerations, both for the contractors and the people using the path during the construction phase, due to the steep cross‐slope that the path is benched into which zig- zags up the mountain. Walkers may wish to consider alternative routes up the Ben during the this period such as starting at the North Face car park, however those choosing to take the Mountain Path should be aware of the works and follow the bypasses and instructions from the on-site contractors. We would also like to advise extreme caution for any night climbs or descents using the Ben Nevis Mountain Path during the construction period.

The Ben Nevis Mountain Path is an extremely popular and well-used route and very much in need of these works to improve long-term stability of the path and reduce erosion. Ben Nevis visitor numbers are in excess of 100,000 annually and in addition to individual walkers there is an ever-growing number of charity climbs, challenge events and Three Peak groups. The lower Ben Nevis Mountain path is currently in a very poor condition and we need to take action now in order to safeguard the mountain path for future generations to enjoy. One way to alleviate unnecessary pressure is to ensure you register your group events with The Three Peaks Partnership or Ben Nevis Visitor Centre.

Cathy Mayne, Scottish Natural Heritage said,

“We are delighted that work on this iconic and much-used path is now underway. The team from the Nevis Landscape Partnership have worked hard to put together an excellent package of contractors, working through the winter to limit the impact on public access to our highest mountain.”

Lizzie Cooper, Nevis Landscape Partnership said,“We are extremely grateful to our funders for their commitment to the repair and upgrading of the Ben Nevis Mountain Path, it will make a huge difference to this mountain route and help reduce erosion. However, all mountain paths need ongoing maintenance to keep them in good condition, so we would encourage all those who want to help look after our iconic mountain to sign up for a volunteer footpath work party with Friends of Nevis and John Muir Trust. It is a truly amazing experience, if not a little addictive!”

To find out more about the work going on and around Ben Nevis, and how you can get involved and support it go to www.nevislandscape.co.uk.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The Nevis Landscape Partnership Program is a 5 year £3.9m scheme, consisting of 19 projects aiming to encourage the public to engage with the natural and cultural environment of both Ben and Glen Nevis. Across the program there are opportunities for people get involved through volunteering, school participation, experience events and training opportunities. In addition we have a major ‘leave no trace’ interpretation project to promote sustainable use of the area.

Our key partners are: Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, Forestry Commission Scotland, John Muir Trust & The Nevis Partnership who are the host organisation for the programme. In addition we have a number of smaller funders feeding into specific projects.

For further information contact Freja MacDougall, Communications freja@nevispartnership.co.uk / 07979671806 / 01397 701088

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