Working in partnership with JAHAMA Highland Estates, Nevis Landscape Partnership identified the need for an all abilities path and bridge along Glen Nevis, at the foot of Ben Nevis, in Fort William.
Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis are nationally important resources for recreation and tourism, as well as providing a valuable community landscape. The core aim of the project was to bring essential infrastructure development to support a more socially inclusive approach to outdoor access: encouraging greater participation and removing barriers.
The project also ensured that a ‘once in a lifetime’ visit to the UK’s highest mountain would welcome and provide for more than just the fittest mountaineers. Families, the elderly, less fit and mobility impaired all have a right to be able to enjoy this landscape and engage in suitable outdoor activity.
This project ensures that access infrastructure is of a standard befitting a world class destination, that it is inclusive and built to withstand the pressures of climate change and thousands of visitors. The Glen Nevis Visitor Centre and the associated visitor experience is enhanced, with a 21st century approach to access bringing environmental, economic and social benefits. The path provides opportunities for outdoor activity, education and engagement with the natural environment. It develops our natural capital and builds social inclusion while contributing more generally to people's health and wellbeing.
JAHAMA Highland Estates provided endorsement for the project, as landowners of the eastern bank, and facilitated an agreement for the period of the scheme to assist in delivery of the project. The estate also made land available to the Highland Council, so the entire project was under their management for the longer term.
Funding for the projects was provided by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, SportScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council (bridge), SRDP and the Scottish Youth Hostel Association.
The project took 2 years to complete and is a welcome addition and a much-used path through Glen Nevis for tourists and visitors to use and enjoy when visiting Fort William.