Welcome to the Pathways project page. The Pathways group was set up in 2021 on the back of the CAP which identified the importance to the community of maintaining and developing our path network based on the knowledge that our paths are part of our outdoor infrastructure.
As per the CAP, the first task undertaken was to undertake an audit of the paths and trails in the Stratherrick & Foyers area identifying the main users, level of use, landowners, and general state of/requirement for maintenance. To date 27 have been audited but there are more to be done…
Two key strands of work emerged from this audit, namely, the maintenance and development of key sections of our path network and the marketing and promotion of our paths. The reasons for the focus on these two areas were as follows:
- They are a key community asset.
- There is little or no responsibility for any landowner/other 3rd party to maintain them.
- Walking as an activity nationally has soared in popularity in the past few years and this is putting increased pressure on our paths resulting in degradation of path quality.
- The South Loch Ness Trail which is part of the Loch Ness 360 passes through the area. This trail which launched in 2018 has been very successfully marketed worldwide by a number of tourism organisations.
- To encourage more people, both locals and visitors, to use our paths, enjoy our environment while at the same time gaining health benefits.
Maintenance and development: Project activity to date has focussed on two sections of the South Loch Ness Trail. £20K of funding was awarded by Highland Council to the group and together with funding of £20K from the Trust, we have been working to finalise how exactly the funds will be spent. It has taken a number of twists and turns as all projects do, but as of September 2023, work is expected to commence soon on improvements between Whitebridge and Foyers while at the same time we are in talks with Forestry and Land Scotland to collaborate on improvements between Inverfarigaig and Foyers.
Marketing and Promotion: There are two areas of project activity here too. The first centres on the development of a path-based app for the area. This is a major project which offers great potential for profiling not only the paths in our area but also the heritage, biodiversity and stories and legends. As of September 2023, we are talking with two potential app developers to establish what the exact functionality and features of the app will be.
The second marketing project is our ‘Walk the Walk‘ campaign to encourage more people both locals and visitors to get out and explore our paths. Central to the campaign is to post a monthly local walk on Facebook and the Trust website, which you can visit here - Walk the Walk | Stratherrick & Foyers Community Trust (stratherrickcommunity.org.uk)
Why ‘Walk the Walk’? – because, to quote from the foreword to a book by Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways, A Journey on foot, ‘Paths are not just means of traversing space, but also of feeling, knowing and thinking’.
Project updates will be posted here as and when they occur.
In the meantime, if you wish to be part of this active group, please email Graeme at email@example.com