Path repair trainee Thomas Harper pushed a measuring wheel on Bla Bheinn, while Chris took pictures, measuring the path width and making notes on its condition.‘Foot pressure from walkers frequently wears away upland vegetation to create a path. On its own, this might not be too much of a concern, but when heavy rain then runs down the path it washes away the exposed soils, leaving behind awkward stones in a narrow gully. When this happens, walkers instinctively step onto easier ground to the side of the path and the process will carry on repeating itself – extending the path widthways onto the surrounding fragile environment – until we can fix the problem. ‘The John Muir Trust would like to repair this stretch of the Bla Bheinn path as soon as possible, this year if we can. It’s a major job, and an expensive one, which will require specialist contractors who will ultimately determine the nature and feel of the path. We’ll be working closely with them to marry their experience and craft with our determination to protect wild land. We want people to enjoy wild places while minimising human impacts. ‘We’re delighted that leading outdoor brand Berghaus has recognized the importance of these repairs and has chosen to nominate the Bla Bheinn path repair project in a competition to receive funding from the European Outdoor Conservation Association. Conservation projects from around the world are being put to a public vote. Whoever gets the most votes will win £24,000 towards their project. So if you care about one of our greatest mountains in one of our most stunning landscapes, please cast your vote for us.’
You can place your vote for the John Muir Trust's campaign at http://www.outdoorconservation.eu/project-voting-category.cfm?catid=1, remember to vote before 31st March 2014, and thank you!