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A masterplan for Cairngorm Mountain

Wednesday 16th June 2021, 2:17pm

A Masterplan for the Cairngorm Mountain estate has recently been published by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  The development agency, which manages the 1,418 hectare, publicly-owned Cairngorm Estate, says that it will act as a framework to help inform future development plans.

The estate includes the Cairngorm Mountain ski resort and controversial funicular railway to the Ptarmigan Restaurant, situated at a high altitude near the plateau summit, and encompasses extensive areas of wild hillside around it, from the edge of Glenmore Forest to Cairn Gorm summit, and from Lurcher’s Gully in the west to the watershed above Strath Nethy to the east.

This Masterplan identifies eight guiding principles and ten key strategies on inter-related topics for sustainable management options aimed at delivering for a range of interests, summer and winter.

The decision to repair the troubled Funicular was taken by the Scottish Government before this masterplan was published, so the focus of the document is on how best to use the infrastructure and manage the land.

The Masterplan can be read here: www.hie.co.uk/media/10744/cairngorm-mountain-masterplan_2021.pdf

Mountaineering Scotland commented on the development of the draft Masterplan in November 2019, which can be read here: www.mountaineering.scot/conservation/policies/cairngorm-mountain-masterplan

To assist in developing the masterplan a stakeholder forum, the Cairngorm Advisory Group, has been set up, to which Mountaineering Scotland has been invited.  We will participate to ensure that the interests of hillwalkers, climbers and ski tourers are represented and taken into account as more detailed plans and projects are brought forward.

Stuart Younie, Mountaineering Scotland’s Chief Executive said: “We have been concerned about the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of Cairngorm Mountain and we recognise there are mixed views on the cost benefit of reinstating the funicular railway.  The car park and ski area are one of the most important access points in Scotland for walkers, climbers and ski-tourers, and the area should be a national showcase for Scotland’s mountain environment providing a great experience for visitors and contributing to the local economy. We hope the new masterplan and the operating company will deliver on that vision.”