Work will now start on restoring the path up Blàbheinn. Photo: Nick Bramhall CC-BY-SA-2.0

Work will now start on restoring the path up Blàbheinn. Photo: Nick Bramhall CC-BY-SA-2.0

Work will begin on restoring the path up a Hebridean mountain after success in a European competition secured £24,000 cash for the project.

Match-funding means £50,000 will be available to the John Muir Trust for work on the route up Blàbheinn on the Isle of Skye.

The project came top in an online public run by the European Outdoor Conservation Organisation.

The Blàbheinn bid, which was put forward by outdoor brand Berghaus, beat rival schemes from across the world, including one in the Lake District, to bag the cash grant from the organisation.

The John Muir Trust will use the money to buy materials, employ local contractors and work with volunteers.

Chris Goodman, the trust’s footpath manager, said: “This is great news. We were up against tough international competition from mountain projects in the Himalayas, Spain, Patagonia and the Lake District and took 30 per cent of the online votes.

“We’d like thank all those who voted for us, and Berghaus for nominating this project.

“Blàbheinn is a superb mountain with breathtaking views across land and sea. It is also one of the more of the more accessible peaks of the Cuillin range.

“The high number of visitors together with high rainfall have caused serious erosion over the years.

“But this windfall means we can swiftly start work on repairing the scar that has opened up on the hillside.”

The John Muir Trust said it uses a light touch approach to path repair work, striving to keep footpaths in good condition without damaging habitats or compromising the character of the wild landscape.

Caroline Smith of Berghaus said: “It’s fantastic that this magnificent mountain has won this funding.

“Blàbheinn is such a popular peak and deserves to be looked after for its own sake, its wildlife, and for the many outdoor enthusiasts who visit it.

“Berghaus is right behind the John Muir Trust’s approach to path repairs in some of the UK’s most spectacular wild landscapes, and we’re delighted we have been able to it to secure enough votes to win.

“We look forward to seeing the work once it has been completed.”

The online poll was organised by the EOCA, a not-for-profit environmental outdoor charity with over 120 members from Norway to Spain and from the UK to the Czech Republic. Many top outdoor brands are members of the association.

Among other projects up for the prize in the Alpine category was the path from Red Tarn to Crinkle Crags in the Lake District, nominated by Bergans of Norway.

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