Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Seen the Year oot on the Ben

Our last working weeks of 2016 was spent on the lower slopes of Ben Nevis. We were  sub contracting for Highland Conservation who were working for the Nevis Partnership, building mostly stone pitching on a section of path that has been badly gullied out and eroded.
The weather was reasonably kind to us with warm, wet and windy being the order of the day.
Its been an enjoyable project as stonework is like a giant jigsaw puzzle that weighs a tonne!

But thats us on our well earned break for this year. Wishing everyone the best for the hols!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Lanark finished, onwards and upwards to the 'Ben

The nicest part of our work is the variety- one week we are working in a lowland nature reserve in Lanark, the next week we are working on the lower slopes of Ben Nevis.
Our work at the ancient woodlands of Clyde Valley Nature Reserve was for SNH and we are pleased that the client was delighted with our work. After we finished here, we moved upwards to Ben Nevis- a project were we are sub contracting to Highland Conservation in which we are helping them construct stonework for their client, Nevis Partnership.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

A week of Lochs and Waterfalls

Just finished this seasons work at the higher ground of the Cairngorms, finishing at the Dubh Loch path in Balmoral Estate. Time to move to slightly lower ground as we move into November- but still some outstanding views to be seen. Here we see Dubh Loch followed by our site visit to Loch Brandy at Clova , Eastern Cairngorms.

Nice view at the waterfall heading to Dubh Loch too, as Luke digs a borrow pit for repairs and maintenance.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Rainy Week at the Dubh Loch Path

Our current season at the heights of the Cairngorms are drawing to a close as the nights draw in and we have left the summit of Lochnagar to work at the path leading to the Dubh Loch in Balmoral Estate , Deeside. This work is for our client Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust as part of their Mountains and People project - a project taking place in the upland areas of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and the Cairngorms National Park.

Friday, 7 October 2016

October Winds!

Working at 3000 plus feet in the Scottish highlands are challenging at the best of times but throw in the odd gales and it fairly separates the men from the boys. Upland Access' teams are continuing our work at the plateau of Lochnagar and also single line definition at its smaller sister Meikle Pap. We also have another contract at Balmoral estate, again carrying out repairs to the path that leads to the Dubh Loch from Loch Muick. The weather has been good but there is a real nip to the wind, a timely reminder that things are going to get right cold right fast!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Lochnagar Plateau defined

As a continuation of last years work at Lochnagar plateau, both our teams are working hard at defining a route through a boulder strewn landscape to help the fragile "alpine vegetation" recover after decades of people stamping and eroding.

Although this work is called light touch, it is far from easy as it calls for a fair amount of manual handling in moving obstacles from the pathline to the margins,

 This work is part of the Mountains and People project for our client Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Quick sortie to Jocks Road

A quick blast at Jocks Rd for this year- both our teams had a stint each carrying out repairs and construction of drainage and stone work. It was good to see last years work bedding in and providing another couple of hundred metres of defined path that is going to make a real difference. Jocks Road is a historic Drovers route that joins Glen Doll to Glen Callater enabling some walkers to walk from Glen Clova nr Kirriemuir to Braemar. It also provides access to a few munros too. This work is part of the The Mountains and The People project - a joint national park upland path repair initiative managed by our client Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust . 

The weather last week? -mixed bag with amazing blue skies one second and gloomy clouds of midgies the next. Cant complain - when the midge bites are many on yer face it looks from a distance like a good tan. Those are the breaks!
Next job- Lochnagar Plateau.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Done and Dusted at the Cobbler

We passed the finishing line of this years' work at the Cobbler and the stone constructed path  has been receiving great feedback from regular users of this very busy path in Loch Lomond  and Trossachs National Park. Over two hundred tonnes of stone and material were moved by hand in the works which included drainage and landscaping. This project was for our client Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Stone Pitching at the Cobbler

More stonework constructed by our teams as we are close to the finishing line of our most recent contract on the Cobbler, a very popular hill within the boundaries of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. This type of work where you are using large local stone to construct a natural and durable walking surface, is extremely hard, all manual labour,

and our teams have done well in keeping to the tight schedule.
One of the particular problems of this site is the water that cascades down the path- more a river that a path at sometimes. This has meant constructing large stone drainage features and ditches to carry the water away and through the path- very effective so far and we have seen some violent rainfall recently. Our client in this job is Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust who are managing the Mountains and People project .

Friday, 17 June 2016

Same Cobbler, different path..

We won another contract on the Cobbler, this time the main approach path for climbers. Its going to be heavy stonework construction and we made a great start this stint with everyone working really hard. This project is part of the The Mountains and The People project, a combined National Park approach with management provided by Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Summer is here?

Blazing sunshine for the last 2 stints at the Cairngorms- we really are being spoiled with the waterproofs staying stubbornly in the rucksacks. More good work done by our team on the path overlooking Loch Muick at Balmoral estate, heading twds the Dubh Loch. Here you can see the difference our work makes to eroded and washed out areas of the path. This work is on behalf of our client Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A tale of 2 lochs

Back working in Balmoral Estate but this time we had the sun beating down on us all stint. Our team started the stint by carrying out repairs to a section of path round Loch Muick that had been severely damaged by the floods at xmas time. We then carried all our tools 3 kms to the path that leads towards the Dubh Loch. This project is to carry out low key, natural repairs to the path, mainly sort out drainage issues and anything else that may be causing erosion. Works carried out for our client Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust as part of the Mountains and the People Project.

Recruiting for Mountain Footpath Workers

See our ad on CJS (click here)

Thursday, 5 May 2016

'Ne'er cast a cloot til May is oot...!"

Just when we thought that the weather was beginning to settle down, the old adage of 'Never cast a cloot afore May is ooot" came back to bite us. We saw bitterly cold blizzards on the Cobbler, even as our stint turned into May and we lost a good bit of time on this contract as its pretty hard to work in a white out.  Our team worked really hard and as we were coming to the end of this project, removing tools from the top of the hill and walking them down a slippery slope can be arduous and sketchy- still a hard shift with the added hardship of freezing temperatures. Roll on summer- please!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Still shivering in April at the Cobbler

Any thoughts of winter leaving us where well dismissed as we experienced wind chill factors that was in the minus 10 categories. Cold enough to give us trouble gripping our sandwiches at time as we shivered on our break in our emergency mountain shelter. But this is what you expect when you are working at plus 2000ft in the Scottish mountains and this one being the Cobbler or Ben Arthur to use its proper name. Repair works and line definition works carried out for Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust as part of the Mountains and The People project.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Arrochar Alps

A rare dry week for the Upland Access team as we finally got motoring on all cylinders at our worksite near Arrochar. The approach path to the Arrochar Alps, is were you will find us for the next wee while as we carry out vital repairs on this very popular footpath and in doing so, limiting the potential erosion to the hill. Spectacular views were another perk of the job this week and we soon realized the 'draw' of this hill.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Snow shoes at the Cobbler.

The UA team was working at the approach path to Ben Arthur otherwise known as the Cobbler. A typical scottish week in February where we saw snow, blizzards, sleet, rain, and even some t-shirt wearing sunshine. Working on behalf of our client Cairngorms Outdoor Accces Trust as part of The Mountains and the People project, we are carrying out repairs to sections of this path but deep snow hampered our progress on the open hill but we managed to keep gainfully employed in the section through the woods.

Below is  classic 'before and after' photos, showing the difference path repairs can do in keeping water off the path to stop further damage.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Macgillicudy Reeks Mountain Access Project

Upland Access Ltd had the privilege of being involved in the training of Kerry mountain footpath workers in Ireland last week.  The project is organised by the South Kerry Development partnership whose aims are to redress erosional problems in the Macgillicudy Reeks mountains but also provide training and employment for locals.
Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust have provided logistical support for this project and our part in this exciting development is through them.