Skye path workers battle Atlantic storms

Footpath workers have been battling ferocious weather conditions to complete repair works on a popular section of path on the Isle of Skye.

Path workers during a brief break in the weather

Path workers during a brief break in the weather

After a great start in balmy October sunshine, the team working to repair the footpath over Druim Hain to Loch Coruisk have more recently had to contend with fierce gales and driving rain. And that’s on top of a daily two–hour trek from Glen Sligachan to reach the work site. Yet the work is still on course to be completed by the middle of next month.

Chris Goodman, John Muir Trust Footpath Officer said: “The guys have been great. Even in the teeth of the savage storms that have rampaged through the north west of Scotland recently, they’ve made impressive progress, with just a handful of days off.

“Heavy rain and surface run-off funnelled down the path over the years has turned what once used to be a narrow path line into a gully six to seven metres wide and half a metre deep. It’s visible from as far away as Sligachan, eight kilometres away, and unpleasant to walk up.

Eroded path before repair works

Eroded path before repair works

“The current work is focused on repairing the top 340 metres of the damaged path using stone lifted in by helicopter from nearby boulder fields to build steps and drainage features.

“The work has also involved transplanting vegetation from the adjacent hillside onto areas of bare ground to repair the scar and speed up the recovery of the ground.”

“Two thirds of the work has now been completed and, weather permitting, the rest should be finished by mid-March.”
An further 1.7km of the path will need repair work to consolidate the loose ground and shed surface water off the path.

The Trust expects to get this work underway over the next two years, along with additional path repair work on Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach.

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