Path Map

OATS Volunteer Maintenance Programme 2024 dates announced

We are delighted to announce the initial dates for our upland path volunteer maintenance programme for 2024.

The team at OATS are keen for current volunteers to sign up, and urge all path users who are keen to give something back to the trails they enjoy to give path maintenance volunteering a try.

08 – Carn Ban Mor (Glen Feshie)

29 & 30 – Dubh Loch and Glas Alt – 2 days using bothy at Loch Muick (Balmoral area)

13 & 14 – Stac Polaidh – 2 days using the hostel at Ullapool
22 – The Snub/Loch Brandy (Angus Glens)
27 – Bynack Mor (Northern Cairngorms)

10 – Chalamain Gap (Northern Cairngorms)
17 – Cairn Liath (South Cairngorms)
24 – Coire Domhain (Northern Cairngorms)

15 & 16 – Lochnagar/Glen Muick area – 2 days using bothy (Balmoral area)
22nd – Brae Riach/ Sron Na Lairig (Northern Cairngorms)
29th – Beinn A’Ghlo Return (South Cairngorms)

Please note that sign-ups close on the Wednesday before the event. More dates will be added in the coming weeks.

For further details on our scheduled volunteer upland path maintenance days, to sign up, and to be added to the OATS volunteer mailing list, please e-mail Ewan Watson, our Activity Projects Officer – [email protected].

From 2024 Ewan is leading the Adopt A Path Scheme and the Volunteer Path Maintenance Programme for OATS, with a key role in access projects for the Cairngorms.

Ewan Watson, Activity Projects Officer for OATS, said: “OATS’ mountain footpath volunteer maintenance days play a vital role in repairing and preventing erosion on Scotland’s path network. Having seen firsthand on many occasions the damage that can be done by lack of maintenance, the old mantra of ‘prevention is better than cure’ is seldom truer than when it comes to mountain footpaths.

“Our days will largely focus on undertaking a ‘drainage run’ in one of Scotland’s many beautiful mountain environments. This will involve walking a path with a spade or mattock, clearing drainage features and making vital repairs along the way. These days are a great way to get out into the hills, while also giving something back to our natural environment and helping to ensure sustainable access to the outdoors for the future. Our volunteer days are also fantastic for meeting new like-minded people from all walks of life in a very supportive and friendly environment.”

Volunteer maintenance days
OATS volunteer maintenance days include path maintenance and erosion control, and other practical conservation work. Volunteers work alongside experienced people, learning techniques that enhance their practical conservation skills, and increase their knowledge of the natural and cultural heritage of our mountains.

OATS volunteer days give people the chance to get involved and play their part in protecting and enhancing upland habitats in a fun and welcoming environment. All you need is good general fitness and experience in the outdoors. Tools are provided and no prior path work experience is required.

14 to 18-year-olds are welcome to join in as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult.

If you are part of a group, a club, a school, a business, or an organisation looking for a volunteering opportunity, we can help you get involved by tailoring activities to suit your needs.

Thank you
Thank you to all those volunteers who supported the charity in 2023 by grafting in all weathers on the hills as part of our Volunteer Path Maintenance Programme. Your contribution makes a huge difference to the longevity and sustainability of our mountain path network.