16 Nov OATS Annual Report 2019-20 – Applause for hard work in the face of adversity
Foreword from the Chairman, Ian Moffett.
A successful, safe return to work after lockdown means we really can celebrate a great year for OATS despite problems caused by Coronavirus.
Teams have been back at work on paths on Lochnagar, Ben More at Crianlarich, and the Storr, and the Fairy Pools toilet block on Skye will be complete in the very near future.
Our car-parking staff have also been back on duty – and hard at it, as visits to Scotland’s countryside soared. It has never been more clear just how essential it is to provide basic facilities for access in the countryside, and it is extremely encouraging to see the car parks generating much-needed revenue after a collapse in income from April to June this year.
In addition, OATS volunteering re-started in early September, with regular Wednesday sessions to ensure our paths are maintained and path users can give something back.
Sadly our conference to celebrate the completion of The Mountains and The People project, already rescheduled from May to October, has been delayed again due to Covid restrictions. We hope to run it in the coming year.
Nevertheless, we should applaud the work of the staff, contractors, volunteers, and trainees who will complete the UK’s biggest ever path scheme by the end of December. Another cheer should go to the team that completed the Speyside Way extension, now no doubt getting good use.
It is important people know a great deal of time, money and hard work goes into making sure they can use the countryside without damaging it. To that end OATS has broadened its publicity drive since the start of 2020, gaining coverage in Scottish and UK national media, and hopes to build on that work, to help drive up donations and volunteer support from countryside users.
Those donations, plus fundraising via trailhead facilities such as the Glen Muick and Fairy Pools car parks, will be essential in the future as OATS’ mountain-path work moves to areas outside National Parks.
The hard work of our staff and contractors has seen us achieve great success this year. I thank them for that and trust they will help the organisation advance for the next 12 months.
To read the full OATS Annual Report 2019-20 click on the link OATS Annual Report 2019-2020