The Cairngorm Archive

The Cairngorm Trust was established in 2018 as a registered charity and its purpose is the “advancement of education” and it does this by taking deposits of archive material relating to the Cairngorm area.

“Our long term aim is to house our collection in a dedicated building in the Cairngorms National Park so that the general public can access and appreciate it. So the collection should include "browsing material" - books, magazines, maps and postcards - as well as "archive material" such as unique documents and photographs.”

One such document from 1890 describes an excursion from Aberdeen (by rail) to climb Braerich and Cairn Toul – they must have been tougher and quicker then! Fascinating.

The Bothy Watch scheme

Police Scotland have launched Bothy Watch in the south of Scotland with a focus on reducing crime and limiting damage to remote bothies. This scheme has arisen out of partnership with the Mountain Bothies Association, Forestry and Land Scotland, local authorities and the local Mountain Rescue volunteers. Any crimes involving the bothies can be reported using the Bothy Report section on Mountain Bothies Association’s website, or alternatively by phoning Police Scotland on 101 (999 for emergency calls). Information can also be passed via the independent charity Crime Stoppers by calling 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be maintained.

The Cairngorms Trust

This charity (SCO46495) was established in 2016 and its purpose is "The advancement of citizenship or community development". It does this by making grant and donations to organisations.

In May of this year the Trust announced it will be raising funds to support the Boat of Garten Wildlife group and the Kingussie Path Network Improvement group. The fundraising was kicked off by a donation of £1028.70 from the Cairngorms Brewery. > Further information

Action on Restoing Peatlands

The Scottish Government announced in June 2019 that an additional £11 million of funds is being made available to restore degraded areas of peatlands. This is in addition to the £3 million that was announced earlier this year. Peatland Action is the relevant project and is supported by SNH.

The money will be spent by removing tree plantations and blocking drains and ditches to restore the affected areas to wetlands. The value of peatland is it locks in carbon whereas degraded peatlands releases carbon. It is estimated that 1,600 million tons of carbon are stored in Scotland’s Peatlands.

Tak It Hame campaign

Mountaineering Scotland’s campaign – Tak It Hame - to persuade hillwalkers to pick up litter rather than drop it has attracted attention and proved popular.

This has challenged people’s ideas about what constitutes litter; apple cores, banana skins and orange skins are biodegradable but what many people don’t realise is the length of time for these items to fully degrade. Apparently it can take up to 2 years for a banana skin to break down into the ground!

If you want to take part as a club or a group, you can get in touch with Mountaineering Scotland and collect their specially branded and 100% recyclable #TakItHame bags. They won’t just give you something to put the rubbish in – they’ll help spread the word to others too. Check out this page on the MS website.

Fight for Scotland’s Nature

North East Mountain Trust joined 36 other environmental bodies in sending a letter to the First Minister asking the Scottish Government to bring forward a new Scottish Environment Act. It was pointed out that Nicola Sturgeon has acknowledged the planet is facing a climate emergency and that there is a looming ecological disaster. Part of the letter reads:

“Everyone has the right to a clean and healthy environment. Nature enriches people’s lives. It cleans our air and our water, improves our physical and mental health, underpins Scotland’s global image and exports and improves the places we live.”

I was personally pleased to read that this letter was supported by the Huntly and District Swift group and Paths for All. See the website

Path to Suilven completed

The final phase of the path work on Suilven has now been completed. The work began in 2015 and the John Muir Trust has overseen the project on behalf of the Assynt Foundation. A total of £200,000 was raised to spend on the project and involved two contractors; Arran Footpath & Forestry focussed on hand-built work on the steep ascent to the summit, whilst ACT Heritage focussed on the lower boggy sections and transformed it into a robust path.

Good effort and I will see if I can summit in a dry pair of boots!

Carnach Bridge Update

This is referring to the replacement of the bridge over the River Carnach on the Knoydart Estate. The bridge has arrived at the estate and they are preparing to site it. Unfortunately, the handrails and fixings provided were not fit for purpose and there will be a delay of at least 3 weeks while appropriate parts are sourced. As a result the bridge is now expected to open at the end of August. Another magical place I need to visit this year.

‘Ben Nevis at Night’ & Nevis Fund

On Saturday 27th September there will be 3 events happening:

These events are not only a celebration of the Ben Nevis area at night but also an opportunity to fundraise for the newly established Nevis Fund (

The purpose of this is to be able to pay for the path maintenance work in order to make them fit for the heavy bashing of 450,000 pairs of boots annually.

Recently the Nevis Landscape Partnership (NLP) has been working on a brand-new path project between Paddy’s Bridge and Steall Falls which will make up one part of the Glen Nevis Heritage Trail.

©C Lacy

Speyside Way Spur Improvement

After a number of years enjoying walking the moorland bogginess of the Tomintoul Spur of the Speyside Way, it was a shock to find extensive stretches of a new and very blue path.

Our thanks to the Crown Estate at Glen Livet and CNPA for making the walking so much easier, and so much less wild.

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