Energy company TAQA has recently ‘adopted’ a popular mountain path on Deeside.
Broadcairn, a near four-mile path on the Balmoral estate, leads to the summits of both Broad Cairn itself and Cairn Bannoch and is one of the handful of popular walks leading off Loch Muick, which lies around five miles south of Braemar.
The adoption of the path is part of a new initiative by the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, a conservation charity involved in the preservation, restoration and upgrading of upland paths in both of Scotland’s national parks.
Commenting on the path adoption, Dougie Baird, the charity’s CEO, said: “Scotland’s mountains in many ways define all that is best in our countryside however, our mountain environments are also fragile, particularly to physical disturbance.
“The vast numbers of visitors coupled with the Scottish weather exact an expensive cost with many of our mountain paths being eroded and left scarred and damaged.
“Our new corporate ‘adopt a path’ initiative is a way of realising the vital funds required to maintain our upland environments whilst enabling companies to give something back and demonstrate their social responsibility commitments.”
Neil Fowler, TAQA’s HSSEQ director and member of its corporate social responsibility committee,added: “Our community investment approach targets a range of projects and being able to adopt a mountain path fits well with our environmental protection targets.
“Adopting the Broadcairn path also enables our employees to volunteer and learn about path maintenance techniques on their own adopted path, promoting a real sense ownership whilst benefiting the local community and beyond.”
Outdoors access, recreation and tourism is regarded as vital to upland Scotland.
The Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland was formed nearly 20 years ago to provide an independent trust of charitable status, that could bring together key partners and develop sustainable outdoors access initiatives.
A conservation charity, the main aim of the organisation has been to preserve and protect, for the benefit of the public, the natural heritage and environment by encouraging, developing and implementing the management of access.
As well as all types of community paths and strategic routes, the trust is also heavily involved in the upgrading of upland paths in both of Scotland’s national parks.