Conservefor recreation team spent twelve months realigning and constructing a section of the Great Glen Way multiuser route (Walking, Mountain Biking & Horse Riding).  The multi-user trail upgrade runs from Fort Augustus to Drumnadrochit, approximately twenty kilometres.

Forestry Commission Scotland appointed Project Management Company, Pick Everard to oversee the multi-user trail upgrade and Conservefor Ltd were appointed as Principle Contractor to implement the works – including path upgrade, path realignment, installation of 12 bridges, bespoke special features and the construction of new sections of the multiuser trail.

Jack Mackay, for the Commission’s team in Inverness, Ross & Skye District, said: “This £1M investment is a significant programme of work that will be a big boost for tourism and which will help us to carry out our long-term felling programme down the Great Glen. As well as improving some existing sections, we’ll be creating new sections of path higher up the hill, which will really open up the views across Loch Ness and the views to the mountains to the east and the west.

Gareth Evans, Director of Conservefor Ltd, said: “We have a great deal of experience in designing, constructing and managing access routes and we are looking forward to being involved in this project in this incredible location. We will be working in partnership with Highland Conservation and hope to get local communities and schools involved.”

“Our team has a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience, which combined with the skills of local contractors, will help us to make sure that the project is delivered effectively and efficiently. It’s going to be a fantastic boost for the Great Glen Way and for the tourism industry in the area.”

Construction across much of the site was difficult due to the mountainous terrain, limited access and the weather – one of the greatest uncontrollable risks.  On many parts of the new route the only way to transport materials onto site was by Helicopter.  We air lifted walling stone, bridges, culvert pipes, fuel, aggregate and even a mini excavator!

During construction of the new trail we utilised three tonne tracked dumpers, ten tonne wheeled dumpers, one tonne to twenty two tonne 360 tracked excavators (many fitted with tilt rotate buckets) a main site compound, CDM compliant welfare facilities, haulage wagons and helicopters.

At key viewpoints along the trail Conservefor Ltd commissioned ‘Wildlands’ to design bespoke stone and timber features intended to enhance the view and to give additional interest to photographs taken on the route.

In addition to the bespoke features Conservefor’s skilled drystone walling team constructed a stone and timber  ‘S’ shaped seating area, ‘C’ shaped seating area and with Highland Conservation installed many standing stones as seats along the line of the route.

Working closely with Pick Everard, The Forestry Commission, The Highland Council, Highland Conservation and many local contractors Conservefor has delivered what has been an exciting and challenging project.  For further information on the Great Glen Way please follow the link: see/longdistancepaths/thegreatglenway.htm