Volunteers pave the way in preparation for summer demand

A path route on the Isle of Lewis has been marked out by community volunteers to help disperse tourists across the island and open up new walking routes.

Volunteers from Uig Development Trust

The Uig Development Trust has created a local walking map outlining nine new routes to encourage visitors to explore more of the island. 

We awarded a Community Paths grant to help further develop the project which funded signposting of the three mile route starting at Carrishader and ending at Loch Suaineabhat.

Sophie Brown is the Development Officer for the group and is also a trained Health Walk Leader.

She said: “We wanted to encourage people out into the moors and enjoy different parts of nature safely, and in a responsible way. 
“The posts funded by Paths for All have helped mark one of our new routes which ends with glorious views of Loch Suaineabhat and Uig Sands. We wanted the path to take people across an interesting section of the moorland to try to take the pressure off the more frequently-visited sites.

It was a great project. We had 12 volunteers helping and they ranged in age from 30 all the way up to 70. It was a good mix of people which was really special. 
Everyone played an important part in the project, from mapping out the route to digging holes for the sign posts to going around and manually putting in waymarkers.
It was a great effort from the community and we even managed to catch a lift from one of the estate managers when we were going around putting the signposts into place.
This was our first time applying to the Paths for All grants and it was a really positive experience. We’re delighted they selected our project to work with and was a great pilot run to see what is possible.

We've awarded over £65,400 worth of grants to 33 groups across Scotland to transform path networks. The funding is being used for wide-ranging work including structural improvements, installing signage, hiring tools or contractors, promoting hidden routes and improving biodiversity along path networks. 

The Community Paths grant is now open for applications for up to £1500 to support upgrade, promotion, and maintenance of local paths.

This work is supported by Nature Scot, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.