The People and The Mountains – Major HLF Award for Scotland’s National Parks

Taking in the view from Ben Lomond

Taking in the view from Ben Lomond

We are absolutely delighted to announce that The People and The Mountains project, a joint venture between the Cairngorms and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Parks, has been awarded significant funding from Heritage Lottery Fund. The 5 year project will restore and upgrade 77 miles of paths, provide training for young people and work with schools and communities to protect some of Scotland’s most outstanding natural landscapes.

From the high mountains and straths of the Cairngorms to the lochs and woodlands of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Scotland’s National Parks encompass some of the country’s most iconic landscapes, vital for their contribution to tourism and the wider economy, as well as for the health and social benefits of the millions of people that enjoy them. However, their popularity combined with heavy rainfall is damaging the habitat and causing highly visible scarring to the landscape.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scotland, said: “Nature lies at the very heart of what makes Scotland special and its beauty attracts and ever-growing number of walkers, climbers and tourists each year. Although this is a significant boon to our tourist economy, we need to ensure that it doesn’t damage the special environment that so many have come to enjoy.

“Our natural heritage offers a rich resource for skills and education so HLF is delighted that this project will offer training to many young people. Their newly-learned skills will not only make a positive difference to their own lives but will play an important part in looking after the future of Scotland’s magnificent landscapes.”

Dougie Baird, Chief Executive of the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT), added: “This is fantastic news for the partnership behind this project, and will allow us to develop a project that directly involves the people of Scotland in the care of the priceless mountain assets within both our National Parks.”

Gregor Hutcheon, Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and COAT Board Member, said: “The CNPA is immensely proud of the work and efforts of COAT and this significant funding will allow them take forward this innovative and exciting project that will have real benefits for visitors and land managers. It’s great to be working together with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Park Authority to help safe guard some of the most iconic mountains in Scotland”