Following its success last year in winning an £18,000 prize from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) towards the restoration of the Suilven footpath, the John Muir Trust is now appealing to the public to raise the balance of funding.
The path repair work, which is expected to cost around £200,000, will be carried out by the John Muir Trust and the Assynt Foundation under the umbrella of the Coigach-Assynt Living Landscape Partnership, one of Europe’s largest landscape restoration projects.
The Trust is now hoping to raise an additional £50,000 via a public appeal, which it said is key to triggering the release of the remaining funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage to meet the total project cost so that work can start as soon as possible.
The John Muir Trust hopes to raise cash donations from many of the 6,000-plus people who voted in the online poll last October, which was hosted by the EOCA and led to the charity winning the prize funds.
Mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington is supporting the John Muir Trust’s bid and is urging outdoor enthusiasts to offer their support: “The most magical walk I have ever known was on Suilven. It is a very special place, in a wonderful setting, and I urge the public to back this important path restoration project.”
Stewart Hill, Chair of the Assynt Foundation, commented: “Of all of the mountains in North West Scotland it is the unique shape and form of Suilven that makes it stand out and attract so many walkers to the Assynt Foundation land on which Suilven stands.
“The Assynt Foundation gladly welcomes these visitors, but their footfall does cause erosion, which is why we urgently need to repair the path in a manner that will preserve it in the long term.”
You can find out more and make a donation to the appeal at www.johnmuirtrust.org/suilven