The maintenance of mountain paths in Scotland has proved to be a thorny issue. There is a general acceptance that it needs to be done, but most funding organisations will only look at repair projects, rather than ongoing commitments. In an effort to overcome this conundrum the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) ran a volunteer scheme to improve the maintenance of mountain paths in the Cairngorms National Park. Walking-the-Talk managed the scheme on behalf of COAT during The Cairngorms Mountain Heritage Project and during the transition period of The Mountains and The People. In 2017 COAT became the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland.

The Cairngorms Adopt-a-Path Scheme (CAPS) was developed in partnership with the North East Mountain Trust, and asked volunteers to inspect and report on the condition of their adopted paths. The volunteers were also trained to undertake minor maintenance on these adopted paths, helping to ensure that small problems were tackled quickly. Using the information gathered by volunteers, COAT also engaged path contractors to repair damage and maintain paths so that people can continue to enjoy the hills with the minimum of impact on this fragile environment. Funding for the scheme came mainly from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Full training and support for volunteers was provided and over 60 paths were included in the scheme.

About this website

The website has been set up and is managed by Walking-the-Talk. It is being kept as an archive and is no longer actively maintained - the information about path condition may be out of date!