Outdoor Access Trust Public Meeting – Volunteers steal the show

Earlier this month saw a fantastic turn out to the Annual Public Meeting of the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland with a broad and diverse range of people coming along to hear about the work the Trust does in conserving and protecting our natural heritage and environment.

Amongst the talks, presentations, discussions, tool-box talks and demonstrations, there was one aspect of the evening that truly stole the show – the hardworking and tireless volunteers who work with Trust throughout the year as part of their flagship project, The Mountains and The People (TMTP).

Clearing blocked drainage ditches, improving path surfaces, vegetation management, invasive species control and repairing fences and stiles are just some of the tasks this small army of volunteers get involved with – indeed, in the last eighteen months, 178 people have volunteered on conservation tasks,

In recognition of those volunteers who have gone the extra mile, an award ceremony was held in celebration of their generous and committed contribution. giving 2710 volunteer hours, helping to improve thirty paths across our two National Parks.

Volunteers with their awards. From left to right: Ian Moffett (Chair of Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland), Euan Ramage, James Brownhill, James Gillies, Julie Wilson (Activity Project Officer for OATS’ The Mountains and The People Project).

Glasgow based James Gillies who won the Volunteer of the Year in Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, first started volunteering with TMTP Project in June 2016. He has helped to repair paths all over the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and more recently, has ‘adopted’ Ben Ime, helping to conserve the fragile upland landscape by reporting on erosion damage and potential path issues.

Retired Meteorologist and Aberdeen resident, James Brownhill, won the Volunteer of the Year in Cairngorms National Park having been involved in volunteering for the Trust well before TMTP Project started. He is one of the early Adopt a Path volunteers, having surveyed the Dubh Loch path on the Balmoral Estate path for the last five years as well as attending several conservation work parties throughout the Cairngorms.

And finally! Shopkeeper from Alloa, Euan Ramage, won the award for Most Conservation Days having volunteered on a staggering fourteen different conservation work parties in both of Scotland’s National Parks.

To play your part in the conservation of our national heritage, just follow the link:           www.themountainsandthepeople.org.uk/volunteering