Blàbheinn is one of the most accessible peaks in the Cuillin. Photo: Nick Bramhall CC-BY-SA-2.0

Blàbheinn is one of the most accessible peaks in the Cuillin. Photo: Nick Bramhall CC-BY-SA-2.0

Work has begun on restoring a popular path on the Isle of Skye.

Helicopter airlifts were used to take materials to the site on Blàbheinn, where a £50,000 project is underway on the path leading to the mountain from Loch Slapin.

The John Muir Trust, which looks after the munro, won £24,000 in an online poll organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association towards the costs. At the same time, the trust launched an appeal among its members and supporters to match the funding.

The route’s popularity to a mountain viewed as the guardian of the Cuillin, and the Atlantic weather battering the island, have led to erosion on the path.

A helicopter was due to join the restoration effort this week to fly stone to the mountain’s slopes.

Chris Goodman, footpath manager for the John Muir Trust, said: “Blàbheinn, which guards the entrance to the Black Cuillin, is one of the most magnificent mountains in Scotland, with awe-inspiring views across land, loch and sea.

“It is also one of the more accessible peaks of the Cuillin range, which attracts all sorts of people to Skye, from hardened mountaineers in the winter months to family and schools groups in the summer.

“The sheer numbers trekking up the footpath, together with high rainfall, has led to the erosion of sections of the path. As well as creating a visible scar on the landscape, these pressures can also damage plants and soils.

“We encourage people to take to the hills and explore the wild outdoors, so the way we deal with these kinds of problems is to try and keep upland footpaths in a robust condition.

“That can be expensive, but fortunately we’ve been able to raise the necessary money from our members and supporters, bolstered by the funding we won in the EOCA poll.”

The path will remain open during the repair work which is expected to be completed by Christmas. 100 tonnes of stone will be flown in for the repairs.

The trust has also spent £2,000 on new interpretation boards recently installed at the Loch Slapin car park.

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