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It’s been a busy few months on Suilven but the path work for this year is now drawing to a close. Since April, two path contractors, about 10 staff and a helicopter have all been involved in moving hundreds of tonnes of materials around to improve the Suilven path. What was once a trampled route across boggy ground, up to 30m wide in places, is now a robust but natural looking path that you can walk without sinking up to your knees in.

A.C.T. Heritage busy shifting materials to construct the path. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
A.C.T. Heritage busy shifting materials to construct the path. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.

The work has been undertaken as part of the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) Scheme with the aim of halting the ongoing loss of vegetation and erosion of soil along the path line. As there was no real ‘path’ as such to Suilven, just an evolved route across the moorland, this has involved substantial work to lay a proper path surface which walkers will use and want to stick to.

Up to 30m wide the path was a wide swathe of trampled peat in places. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
Up to 30m wide the path was a wide swathe of trampled peat in places. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.

Contractors A.C.T. Heritage and Arran Footpaths have done an excellent job of constructing the path and stabilising steep mobile ground. The work has made a huge difference and the walk out to Suilven is much nicer now that you don’t have to pick your way through peat hags and deep puddles. The second phase of the work will be carried out next Spring/Summer which will see the path to the foot of Suilven completed and further work to stabilise some of the steep loose ground up to the ridge.

The path before the project. Photo © Chris Goodman.
The path before the project. Photo © Chris Goodman.
The path after work has been completed. Photo © Chris Goodman.
The path after work has been completed. Photo © Chris Goodman.

You can see more images of the path before, during and after the work on the Flickr page:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/suilvenpath/

A huge thanks to everyone involved with the project and also to our funders for enabling this to happen.

For further information about the project please contact Chris Goodman, Footpath Officer for the John Muir Trust on either: chris.goodman@johnmuirtrust.org or 07469 118148.

Guest blog by Chris Goodman, Path Project Officer for the John Muir Trust, from 14th July 2017. Find out more about the Suilven Path Project here

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Laura Traynor

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