Restoration work on a Staffin footpath has been completed.
The Flodigarry to Quiraing footpath by Loch Langaig was repaired by a team of path contractors from Arran.
It was originally an old cart track used by crofters to collect their peats and is still used to gather sheep from the hill grazings.
The path surface had badly deteriorated in recent years through blocked ditches, water damage and heavy footfall and was damaging the protected landscape.
It involved extensive re-surfacing, ditching and pitching to keep water off the route and a significant amount of landscaping. Scottish Natural Heritage gave its consent for the works to be carried out as the area lies within a Special Site of Scientific Interest.
The work is part of Staffin Community Trust’s (SCT) Skye Ecomuseum.
The new surface will take time to firm up and dry out while the landscaping work will be more evident once the grass starts growing.
SCT chairman Sandy Ogilvie said: “The poor surface and damage to the landscape has been highlighted to the trust for several years and we’re is very pleased at the completion of the works. A lot of time and effort went into submitting the project funding application, the tender process and managing the works. We are thankful to the Flodigarry township and Kilmuir Estate for their support from the outset and are sure the route will be well used by crofters, local residents and walkers for years to come.”
SCT is asking all users, particularly those with ATVs and push bikes, to avoid using the new surface until it beds down.
A new stile was installed by the Arran contractors which has a pull-up lever so that dog owners can usher their animals safely through. The Flodigarry crofters had grown alarmed at the damage to the stock fences which were damaged by walkers trying to get their dogs through.
Work is also taking place on another Staffin route, one that links the townships of Grealin and Lealt. The Grealin route includes part of an old railway track used when the diatomite industry was running in Lealt and has views across to Sgurr a’ Mhadaidh Ruadh (Hill of The Red Fox). The line was shown in an Ordnance Survey map in the 1890s.
When the 900-metre long path is opened, walkers will be encouraged to leave their vehicles at the Lealt gorge car park.
A full ecomuseum activity programme is being delivered by SCT’s Angus Murray, who is the project manager. It will involve working closely with Skye primary schools (including Staffin and Kilmuir pupils) and Portree High on an educational pack learning about wildlife, geology, heritage and the environment. Angus will also be organising more health walks for older Staffin residents using the path.
Images from SCT.