Rangers call for voluntary help to maintain footpaths

The Highland Council Rangers in Skye and Lochalsh are looking for volunteers to help them undertake two days of upland footpath maintenance

The first day will be in Glenbrittle on the 5th of April working on one of the access routes to the Cuillin. A second day is planned for the 20th September and will focus on the path between Flodigarry and the Quiraing that leads to remarkable geological features.

On these two days volunteers will assist in clearing blocked cross drains, re-cutting side ditches and resurfacing eroded sections of path surface. All the works are essential without which the establishment of these important footpaths will soon be lost.

John Phillips, Highland Council’s Senior Ranger for Skye, Lochalsh, Ross and Cromarty said, “Skye and Lochalsh Footpaths Initiative have built up an upland paths resource here which cost in the region of three quarters of a million pounds. The paths are urgently in need of some maintenance as the effects of worsening weather, particularly heavy rain which is a feature of the autumn and winter months on the west coast, are taking their toll in terms of erosion. If we do not do something soon, we will lose all of the benefit of the path work done here over the past 10 years.”

Councillor Drew Hendry, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: “Maintenance of these popular footpaths is not just down to people who live in the area. There are many hillwalkers and visitors from outwith the area who use and benefit from the paths that provide access to this magnificent part of the Highlands. I would urge anyone who loves the outdoors and is not afraid of some truly rewarding hard work to get in touch with John and give something back to the community.”
If you would like to join the group of volunteers on these days, please contact John Phillips at The Highland Council’s Planning and Development Service, Old Corry Industrial Estate, Broadford on the Isle of Skye by writing e-mailing: john.phillips@highland.gov.uk  telephone/fax: 01471 822 905.

Booking is essential to take part and all participants will be provided with tools and work gloves.

For further information please contact: John Phillips, Highland Council’s Senior Ranger for Skye, Lochalsh, Ross and Cromarty e-mail: john.phillips@highland.gov.uk  telephone/fax: 01471 822 905.

25 Mar 2008