29 Oct OATS Annual Report 2020 – 2021 published – A year of major achievements
To read the full Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland Annual Report 2020 – 2021 click HERE
For an overview here is the Foreward from the outgoing Chair, Ian Moffett:
The past year has been one of major achievements by OATS, and there’s plenty in the pipeline to ensure more in future years.
The Mountains and The People (TMTP) project finally ended, after Covid delays, at the end of 2020. The final appraisal of this, the UK’s biggest-ever programme of mountain path works, shows what a resounding success it was. The full TMTP project evaluation report can be read here: Final TMTP Report
This year we had the official opening of the Fairy Pools Car Park and toilets, the creation of which was a massive undertaking. It demonstrated the strength of working with the community to protect the environment and enhance the experience of visiting wild sites in Scotland.
The cost of off-grid toilets is high – for the Fairy Pools it was £441,000. However, the standard has to be high enough to safeguard the natural environment and give the high level of experience visitors are entitled to expect.
The teams involved in these projects are to be congratulated on their success: they have shown just what can be achieved by a small specialist charity such as ours with dedicated work and determination.
Going forward we have two new trailhead schemes in the pipeline. Development work is at an advanced stage on a new car park and toilets at Stac Pollaidh in Coigach, one of the most accessible and dramatic mountain walks. It has proved ever more popular over the past two summers as the Highlands filled with visitors who in other years may have gone abroad.
We are pushing forward with a new trailhead car park at Beinn a’ Ghlo in Perthshire, where a considerable length of footpath over three Munros was restored and repaired as part of TMTP.
On Skye, we have had a total of £1.86m worth of projects on the books since 2018, with OATS contributing £256,000.
Work continues apace on the Skye Iconic Sites Project, with path restoration, interpretive signage, and environmental restoration at the Fairy Pools, the Old Man of Storr, and the Quiraing. The total cost of this is approaching £1m and it demonstrates how well we can work with other agencies.
It is heartening for me to see the charity in such good shape as I am standing down as chair at our AGM this year and as a trustee next year after eight eventful years.
My hope is that OATS continues to punch above its weight and fulfill its potential as a major force for protecting and enhancing the Scottish countryside and the experience visitors have of it.