Steall Gorge with Steall Meadow and An Steall Bàn beyond. Photo: Alex Gillespie

Steall Gorge with Steall Meadow and An Steall Bàn beyond. Photo: Alex Gillespie

A leading broadcaster and journalist is backing a bid to secure cash for repairs to a Highland path.

The John Muir Trust is bidding for £25,000-worth of funding for the works on the path in the shadow of Britain’s highest mountain.

Clothing brand Patagonia has also joined Cameron McNeish in supporting the trust’s efforts to secure the cash for the path in the Steall Gorge in Glen Nevis.

The John Muir Trust, which owns the land, along with most of neighbouring Ben Nevis, said the route is in desperate need of maintenance if it’s to stay open to the thousands of visitors that venture along it each year.

A JMT spokesperson said: “This exciting rocky route can be enjoyed by day visitors and winds through the wild wooded gorge to Steall Meadow where it opens to staggering views of Britain’s second highest waterfall, An Steall Bàn – the white spout.

“The route also provides an inspiring start to more challenging hikes for seasoned walkers, such as the Ring of Steall – an adventurous one-day trek that takes in four peaks in the Mamores.

“Unfortunately, the path is suffering erosion from heavy use and exposure to the elements. Long sections are in danger of crumbling away and could eventually be lost to the roaring waters below if repair work isn’t started soon.”

The trust has entered a competition organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association. A number of conservation projects from across Europe are being put to a public vote. Getting the most votes will earn £25,000 towards the urgent work required on the path.

Fran Lockhart, the John Muir Trust’s Nevis manager, said: “Around 40,000 visitors come to visit this special wild place each year.

“The path is under a lot of strain and is now starting to show its age. We’ll use the funding to carry out appropriate repairs to reverse damage and work to strengthen likely weak spots on a regular basis.

“This will ensure access through the gorge so that people can continue to explore these amazing, rugged surroundings and enjoy one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Scotland for many more years to come. If we don’t do anything, there’s a serious risk that access will be lost completely.”

Broadcaster and author Cameron McNeish added: “Steall Gorge is a fantastic route into a stunning area of wild land – the sort of path that everyone should travel along at least once in their lives.

“I’ll be voting for the John Muir Trust on 13 March and I’d urge anyone who loves the UK’s wild places to do so as well.”

Voting, via the EOCA website, opens tomorrow and runs to 27 March. The Glen Nevis project is competing with four other European schemes.

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