Blog: Saving Scotland’s hill paths starts in Dundee after Brexit funding cuts – The Courier

Stuart Younie is the CEO of Mountaineering Scotland.

He said many do not realise the cost of the upkeep of these paths.

“Scotland’s informal hill and mountain path network plays a vital role in helping us to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of being active outdoors, which was never more evident than during the pandemic.

“Our access may be free from charges, but it does come at a cost.

“We need to recognise the cumulative impact of recreational activity on our landscape and do something positive to address it so it can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.”

Dundee mountaineers will benefit from grant

Groups like the Scottish Mountaineering Trust are vital to keeping our beauties spots safe and looking their best.

They are responsible for campaigns like Tak It Hame which discourages hillwalkers from littering.

Dougie Baird is the CEO of Outdoor Access Trust Scotland (Oats).

He said that a lack of funding since Brexit has made supporting Scotland’s mountain paths all the more difficult.

“We no longer have access to European funding, which has provided significant support for path and habitat restoration projects in the past, with no funding from the government to replace it,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to have received the Scottish Mountaineering Trust’s Diamond Grant to kick start the project.”

Oats CEO Dougie Baird carrying out a path survey on An Teallach. Image: Oats/Mountaineering Scotland.

“The ‘It’s Up to Us’ project will be vital in showing that mountaineers and conservationists can come together to solve the problems at An Teallach and other mountains on private land.

“Whilst also highlighting the desperate need for government support for this type of work in the future,” he added.

Scottish Government employment minister Richard Lochhead said:

“The reality is that Scotland’s communities, which have benefited substantially from decades of EU investment, are losing out because of Brexit – which Scotland didn’t vote for.”

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