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Take one wee step to conserving Scotland's mountains

The National Trust for Scotland is proud to care for 76,000 hectares of spectacular Scottish countryside. We have 7 National Nature Reserves, 45 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 46 Munros and over 400 miles of upland footpaths to look after.

A key part of our conservation work is done through path repair projects, which protect our mountain landscapes from erosion. When thousands of people use the same path it can become worn and rough, then when you add Scotland's famous climate, fragile surface vegetation can simply wash away. The result can be disastrous as large barren scars appear on the landscape, but we're dedicated to repairing those scars, conserving the land and still ensuring people can use access the mountains. It's a huge job, that's why we could really use your help.

Support Scotland's mountains at www.oneweestep.org

To find out how you can take one wee step to conserving Scotland's mountains visit our new website www.oneweestep.org. From here you can get closer to our mountain conservation work by watching videos of our team in action, discover volunteering opportunities, donate to our Footpath Fund and even win a holiday in Torridon!

A few simple tips to help conserve Scotland's Mountains

We've got some great tips that will help to conserve Scotland's mountains for the future.

The Trust cares for land at Glencoe, Kintail, Mar Lodge Estate, Ben Lomond, Ben Lawers, West Affic and Goatfell. Help protect them by following some simple tips:

Always stick to the footpath. The vegetation surrounding the footpaths is very sensitive to large boots! If you need a break from walking on the stone, have a seat and take in the view.

Use walking poles with rubber caps. The point of a pole pierces the vegetation. It can even dig in and dislodge stone. This allows water into the path base, leaving it exposed to water and 'frost heave' - the lifting of a path surface by frost forming within the path materials.

Please do not drop litter, even fruit peelings. Although they will biodegrade, it takes a very long time. And placing them under rocks only slows the process down - so the rule is, if you bring it in with you, take it back out. If you spot someone else's rubbish then please try and take that too.

You can help the paths in many simple ways. The cross-drains and water bars often get filled up with stone and silt, so if you're willing you can drag your heel through the drain to clear the stone, or even lift it out by hand. Just make sure the exit is clear, although be aware that any removed stone will roll downhill, so check first that there is no one below! When these bars and drains block, the water simply flows over them and erodes the path surface below, and although we try to keep them clear, every bit of help helps!

Camping on the mountains can be a fantastic experience, but please be aware of the fire risks and remove all signs of your visit when leaving. Restrict camping to one night, use stable portable cooking equipment (ie no open fires), and please take all rubbish home.

If you see people working on our paths on the hill, please heed any advice they may give you. This is especially important if there is a helicopter lift planned. We always try to keep the sites open but please be patient if you experience a slight delay: it will only be to keep you safe.

Would you consider setting up a regular monthly gift of £6 to the Footpath Fund? Over a year, this contribution would help repair 2 metres of footpath and enable the Mountain Path Team to maintain and repair our footpaths long into the future.

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