Monday, 24 December 2012

Working up a storm at St Abbs

600 metres of coastal footpath were upgraded by 2 teams of Upland Access Ltd's path navvies this December. All the work was done by hand including excavating and shifting 60 tonnes of earth and 50 tonnes of gravel.All done in 2.5 weeks. During our time on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea, we had a first hand experience of the 'Perfect Storm' that lashed the east coast of Scotland- very exhilarating. All the guys in the squads worked really hard to get the majority of the contract completed before the winter holidays. Happy Hols everybody!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

St Abbs coastal path

Started work on a section of coastal path for the NTS at the St Abbs NNR. We have been treated to some amazing views over the cliffs and down to the picturesque old fishing village. The days can be very cold and damp with daylight departing at an alarming rate. The seasonal vibe is upon us and everyone is working hard, humming the Snowman or whistling The Great Escape! Mmm...

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Getting a  Map organised that will show all the sites that Upland Access ltd has worked on over the years and the clients. A work in progress though!



View Upland Access Work Sites in a larger map

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Iona , November 2012

IMAG1442 by uplandaccess
IMAG1442, a photo by uplandaccess on Flickr.
Iona, between showers.

Working on Iona

The weather was definitely against us for our 2 week jaunt to Iona. It was quite a hard stint though as we battled the Atlantic winds and our daily dose of rain. the work was mostly drainage of quite a robust grassy path with a few stone cross drains, raised causeway, and a 100m of aggregate path through a boggy  area.
Well, we played our part helping the local economy by trying to buy most of our food local, and considering our vast appetites ie 3 loafs a day and lots of tinned fish- almost biblical!- I think they did Ok out of us as the Island starts its own winter shutdown.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Back to Bynack

Another cold windy autumn, we must be back at Bynack More. For the last three Octobers we have been working on this cold, exposed Cairngorm munro. Our work this year involves installing low key but essential stone pathworks to try and direct walkers on to a single line as they approach the steep and final part of their  ascent of this hill. This work is part of the ongoing upland path repair projects that Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust are successfully managing and implementing  throughout the Cairngorms.




Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Fact finding in Ireland

After attending the Helping the Hills conference in Wicklow our fact finding visit to Ireland saw us visiting Connemara National Park and then walking up the iconic Croagh Patrick hill in County Mayo. This is a very popular hill due to the religious significance and thus has huge erosion problems, almost insurmountable. The week was very interesting seeing at what stage Ireland is at as to its commitment to erosion control in their hills and hopefully building up some mutual future working relationships.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Beinn Madui

We have now started work on the approach path to Beinn Macdui, the second highest hill in Britain. And true to form the snow has arrived as well but hopefully it is a stray flurry!
The work we will be carrying out is low key definition work with some subtle stone drainage features and landscaping. This is our continuation of work we have done over the last 2 years for the Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Work continues at the Plateau

Upland Access's teams are still working through their summer program of works that sees them working at over 3500ft on the Plateau path at Cairngorm mountain and the Marquis well path that leads towards the summit of Cairngorm Mountain. This work involves installing additional stone drainage features and defining a single line of path where there are many desire lines and no fixed route. The pressures on the fragile vegetation are great, with the weather, hill users and inappropiate mountain biking taking its toll. But hopefully that's where we come in, and hopefully are making a difference.

Glenshee at the Cateran Trail with volunteers

Last week of the volunteer project on the Cateran trail for Perth Kinross Countryside Trust, where Upland Access had a wee job in providing support and knowhow. The vollies all worked hard and produced some good work and seemed to enjoy themselves.


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Cateran Trail

Cateran Trail, Glen Shee by uplandaccess
IMAG1210, a photo by uplandaccess on Flickr.
Helping Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) with a project involving some great young volunteers who have gave up some free time to dig ditches and move big stones about on the Cateran trail, at Glen Shee.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Working on Raibert

A picture showing our team working on the Coirie Raibert path overlooking Loch Avon in the middle of the Cairngorms

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Construction started at Coirie Raibert

Construction of revetment and stone pitching using some really large stones. Patience and a wee bit of skill and a huge effort is essential but good teamwork is the key.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Coirie Raibert

Work starts on Coirie Raibert, a steep sided and tricky site. The path follows the burn that leads into Loch Avon, Cairngorms.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Scottish Summer- Incessant rain and midges in the Cairngorms

First of July and we are fighting the Midgie and getting soaked and muddy as we near the end of our Lairig Ghru site for this year.
This summer will see us mostly in the Cairngorms with Coirie Raibert, Plateau, Macdui, Bynack More and the Cairngorm Maintenance Program keeping us mainly busy till November.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Progress at Lairig Ghru

The Lairig Ghru site was revisited this week and will be this week too as we try and carve a path through a tricky boulder strewn obstacle course. Really hard work moving stones larger than most fridges in some cases- the team worked hard for their dosh this week.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cairngorm Maintenance at Mar Lodge



Some pics from our stint at Mar Lodge Estate carrying out vital maintenance on the paths on the NTS estate. This amazing place has some great views and some long walks so we all had wear and tear on our feet after this week.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Lairig Ghru- Summer and Winter in the same week

Started repair work on a section of the iconic old drovers 'road' of the Lairig Ghru, the long path that you could say, joins the villages of Braemar and Aviemore. May in the Cairngorms are living up to its usual unpredictable weather with blistering heat and snow sometimes at the same time!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Cairngorm Maintenance 2012


Upland Access have started the 2012 Cairngorm Maintenance Program and it has been a challenging week with huge deluges of rainfall in the Deeside area, turning to freezing hail and snow at the top of Glas Allt Sheil and the Slugain. This is the fourth year we have had the Cairngorm Maintenance Project and it will see us carrying out tasks such as drain clearance, resurfacing, and repairs to paths in Deeside, Mar Lodge estate, and Cairngorm Mountain.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fact finding on Iona


Suprisingly nice sunny days on ancient Iona, on a quick fact finding and surveying mission courtesy of the NTS.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Rathain finishing touches






Our team will be spending the week landscaping the repair works we carried out last month at Rathain path, Liathach. We will also carry out line definition work on small sections of this Torridon mountain path.

Difference a day makes!

 The fickleness of the Scottish weather was shown to the max here at Mount Keen, Eastern Cairngorms. In the space of 24hrs we have been treated to beautiful warm spring weather to a full out blizzard and time to beat a hasty retreat. We are carrying out essential repairs to the path by adding extra waterbars and resurfacing the eroded sections of path.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

March Sunshine in the Woods

Our team had an unseasonal spell of great weather down the west coast- a taste of the summer to come?

And then the snow is back for April!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Work at Lanark



A few pics of the recently completed path section and boardwalk at Cartland Craig, in the SNH Clyde Valley NNR

Start work on Liathach



Some photos showing the start of work on the Mullach an Rathain path section on the Liathach mountain in Torridon. This section will involve stone pitching, waterbars, and aggregate path using onsite materials, moved by hand ( and a wheel barrow!)

Monday, 19 March 2012

View over Torridon

A welcome glimpse of the sun as we finish one of the days work on a small project we have on Liathach, Torridon for our client, The National Trust for Scotland. The project involves stone pitching and drainage primarily and some landscaping to keep walkers on a single line

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Steps at Next to Nature Trail, Dunardry


Some steps just completed at Dunardry ,Knapdale  for West Argyll Forestry Commission

Sunday, 26 February 2012

North Berwick Law with BTCV


It was a quick change over from the West Coast to the East coast of Scotland where I found myself lending a hand at North Berwick Law, the most prominent landmark in the surrounding area of North Berwick. BTCV Scotland and their volunteers are undertaking some pathwork on the hill and it was my privilege to help out for the week. It was inspiring seeing their volunteers in action and the enthusiasm they brought to the task, quite infectious and good fun.
BTCV Scotland

Tug of War with some big stones.

Still working in Argyll with the Forestry Commission. Our task is to replace some steps with something a wee bit more robust. This has involved lowering stones down a steep gully either by a Tirfor manual winch or by belaying out a cable in the old fashioned way. Regardless, very hard work as some of the stones are in excess of a 100kg.