Footpath funding to increase access

SOME of Scotland’s best-loved paths are being revamped with fresh funding to remove barriers and improve access for all.

NatureScot, the Scottish Goverment agency known previously as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), is funding almost £111,000 of improvements to the path network.

The cash covers many of Scotland’s long-distance walks, such as the West Highland Way.

The funding includes £26,000 for a community project led by the Helensburgh & District Access Trust to build a bridge on the Three Lochs Way.

Working with the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, almost £19,000 is being invested in improvements to the West Highland Way at Keilator and between Ewich and Tyndrum.

The Clyde Walkway will receive around £20,000 for a boardwalk and the replacement of stiles with self-closing gates to make access easier.

Similar work to improve accessibility is also being carried out on the Cateran Trail.

Repairs and improvements to the path surface on the John Muir Way at Falkirk will also be carried out with funding of more than £26,000.

Meanwhile, £20,000 has been earmarked for a partnership project led by St Fillans Community Trust to create a local path linking the old railway line between St Fillans and Lochearnhead, which will form part of the Cross Scotland Pilgrim Way.

Bridget Jones, NatureScot recreation and paths manager, said: “The pandemic has demonstrated more than ever before how important a nature-rich environment is for our physical and mental wellbeing.

“This funding will improve surfaces, remove barriers and increase access on some of our most popular and scenic paths and trails, making it easier for more people to connect with nature and realise all of the many benefits that can bring.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s outdoors pages.