New Ben A'an path impresses visitors

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Members of theUpland Path Advisory Group -  an information sharing network for path contractors and managers, hill user groups and others – try out the upgraded path.

 

The completion of a £195,000 upgrade of the Ben A’an hillpath was celebrated this week with a visit from the Upland Path Advisory Group.

The path, which had last been upgraded in the 1980s, had been identified as being in need of urgent repairs by The Mountains and The People, a project led by the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, supported by Scotland’s two National Park Authorities, SNH, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

The path to the top has now been totally renewed using locally sourced materials and a new bridge built across a stream on the lower section.

Dougie Baird, CEO with the Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust, said;

“Ben A’an is one of the Trossachs’ most popular peaks, offering a range of experiences for walkers and climber and the view from the summit has drawn many thousands of walkers here over the years.

“Unfortunately, its popularity resulted in high levels of footfall, which together with poor drainage in places resulted in the path being quite badly damaged.

“For many people this dulled an amazing experience but thanks to The Mountains and the People project, there’s now a solid, raised path that will take people to the top in relative comfort and safety, without any boggy, rough or ‘lost’ sections.

“It’s a much more discernible, usable and sustainable path that will let many thousands more walkers experience this fantastic route for the foreseeable future.”

The works were carried out in three separate stages, with Cairngorm Wilderness Contracts Ltd (CWC) carrying out the upper, hand-build section, and McGowan Outdoor Access Ltd doing the work on the other two sections.

During both the planning and construction phases Forest Enterprise Scotland, which manages Ben A’an, was kept up to date and consulted on all aspects of the works, as and when required.  

Will Huckerby, for the Forest Enterprise Scotland team in the area, said;

“We’re very happy with the result. The works fit very well into their surroundings and we have no doubt that it will make for a much more enjoyable experience for visitors.

“In the summer, about 6,000 or 7,000 people are making the 1.5 hour trek up and down every single month. For many of those it will have been their first introduction to mountain access. Hopefully this new path will help them to decide to continue with their new pursuit.

“It will also provide longer term benefits both for the local area and communities further afield, that can enjoy this hill experience well into the future."

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.