The Access Team is working with ACT Argyll & the Isles Coast & Countryside Trust to support communities seeking to improve their local path networks. Whether you want to produce simple information sheets to encourage people to use your local paths or need help to raise funding to improve local paths we are here to help.
Information about paths
Providing information to encourage people to use the path network is the first step in getting people to take more exercise and encouraging visitors to explore your area. We have provided links to many webpages and downloadable information from the Argyll & Bute Paths Map. This is intended to allow people to quickly and easily find out about paths and decide if a path is suitable for a planned walk, cycle or ride before they leave home. Where paths are on Forestry Commission Scotland’s land we have links to their webpages and similarly on the National Nature Reserves. Organisations such as the Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Woodland Trust and community organisations have information about paths on their websites including leaflets which we want to link to. If you are aware of any leaflets or websites which we have not linked to please let us know and we will link to them provided they are not commercial websites.
Write a leaflet – We are looking for volunteers to help us to write leaflets for those paths that do not already have one. If you are keen to help us by walking a path, taking some photographs and assessing the path so that visitors know if it is suitable for pushchairs and the less able. We will put your words and photos into a standard template and publish it on our website and you will be credited if you wish. To find out more contact the Access Team.
ACT Argyll & the Isles Coast & Countryside Trust is still in its infancy but is looking to get projects up and running as soon as possible. The trust aims to assist with better signage and parking facilities at the core paths and launching points and working with communities to help them to improve their local path networks and launching points.
The Trust will soon have two teams able to carry out path improvement and maintenance work based in Helensburgh and Oban and will be looking for work for them. The work will need to be funded and the Access Team can assist community groups with making applications to potential funders to pay for path improvements. Elsewhere local contractors will be keen to carry out path improvement work or for smaller tasks volunteers can make a huge difference.
The Scottish Government recently launched a fund for Improving Public Access which pays fixed rates for building and improving Core Paths and others providing access to features of interest. The scheme can pay £18.20/ square meter for new unbound paths, £150 for a fingerpost and much more. You will need to persuade land managers to apply on your behalf or reach a path agreement with them to allow you to make an application on their behalf. Provided your application is less than £75,000 you will get a reply within six weeks.
The Access Team has surveyed many Core Paths and can provide information on what needs to be done and how much it will cost in support of your application. We can also provide maps and advice on how to go about making applications so that you have the best chance of success.
We hope in time to be able to provide links to communities and landowners who have improved their local path networks and lots of before and after photographs.