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Scottish National Parks Get Lotto Fund Boost

Last Updated: Thursday 31st July 2014, 10:08 am

Lotto players are paving the way for hikers in Scotland after over £3 million was set aside to improve damaged walkways in two of its national parks. The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the grant in order to tackle serious erosion on the paths in the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs parks.

The plan, dubbed the People and Mountains project, will see improvements made to 77 miles of upland paths and will be carried out in conjunction with local schools and volunteers. The goal of the project is to use the £3.28 million pot to provide young people with the skills to gain employment while helping to preserve Scotland’s wonderful outdoors.

The Heritage Lottery Fund uses money raised through the National Lottery to sustain and transform a wide range of heritage projects involving both landscape and buildings. A spokesperson from the Heritage Lottery Fund said, “From the high mountains and straths of the Cairngorms to the lochs and woodlands of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Scotland’s national parks encompass some of the country’s most iconic landscapes, vital for their contribution to tourism and the wider economy, as well as for the health and social benefits of the millions of people that enjoy them.

“However, their popularity combined with heavy rainfall is damaging the habitat and causing highly visible scarring to the landscape.”

The Cairngorms and the Trossachs are visited by around five million people each year and are home to some of the UK’s highest mountains.

Cairngorms National Park Authority and Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) board member Gregor Hutcheon said: “The CNPA is immensely proud of the work and efforts of COAT and this significant funding will allow them [to] take forward this innovative and exciting project that will have real benefits for visitors and land managers.

“It’s great to be working together with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Park Authority to help safeguard some of the most iconic mountains in Scotland.”

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