From Bikes to spades in Torridon
Twelve mountain bikers left their bikes behind and put their backs into repairing a mountain path in Wester Ross last Saturday (11th April).
The path between Coulags and Annat which is popular with hill walkers, as well as increasingly with mountain bikers, had become badly damaged in last year’s storms.
Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland was promoting a national ‘Take Care of your Trails Weekend’ throughout Scotland so The Highland Council’s Access Officer, Phil Waite saw this as an opportunity to engage with the bikers, and enlisted the support of Bob Brown, an Upland Path Manager with The National Trust for Scotland, who supervised the work.
The mountain bikers, who all regularly ride the mountain paths and trails of Wester Ross were led by Alex Glasgow from Plockton, who said: “We were keen to put something back and try to ensure the path didn’t erode further, not only for our benefit but for the landowner and walkers.”
Drains and water bars along the path had become choked with soil and stones so water was running along the path washing ever deepening gullies into it. These have now been cleared out and the water is directed off the path to prevent further damage.
Access Officer Phil Waite said: “The work was carried out in typical West coast spring weather which turned from sun to snow as the glorious weather of last week deserted us. However, the cold temperatures meant everyone kept working to keep warm and work on 2½ kilometres of the path was completed. Everyone who took part enjoyed the day, with many getting a better understanding of how the paths are built, which all helps towards responsible riding of the trails. There were promises of future ‘Trail Repair days’, so if anyone is interested in joining in please get in touch.”