Our website uses cookies throughout our system and to help us provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or click here to change your settings

Continual boots and wheels, plus Scottish weather, can be hard on paths. Every year hundreds of thousands of pounds are spent on upland path maintenance and restoration work. Research has also shown that above 600m, vegetation may never naturally recover from damage.

Before remedial pathwork the route up Beinn a Ghlo was a huge and growing erosion scar visible from the A9
Wet ground at the start of the route up Ben Vane was trampled into a quagmire

 Alongside contributing to fundraising for this work, there are many ways you can help which cost you absolutely nothing:

  • Use your route planning skills and try a different route not in the guidebooks. Make sure you plan safely.
  • Scree slopes are an important and vulnerable habitat: avoid damage by finding another route if you can.
  • If there is an erosion scar, walk within its boundaries to avoid spreading it further; alternatively, completely avoid the area.
  • Follow a route that zig-zags rather than cutting corners or going straight up or down a slope; your knees will also last longer!
  • Travel lightly; use the lightest footwear practical for traversing the terrain.
  • Help by clearing stones and soil from drainage channels across paths each time you are out; this helps water flow freely in the channels, directing it away from the path.
  • Consider volunteering for path repair projects.  Many conservation organisations host work parties to maintain paths on their properties.
  • Contact us if you find a path suffering from serious erosion with a grid reference and a photo, this can help us identify where repairs are needed.

OATS, the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland is one of the principal organisations working to combat path erosion in Scotland's mountains and elsewhere.

Find out more about them  at www.outdooraccesstrustforscotland.org.uk/ and learn how you can volunteer to assist with their path work.