ACCESS to one of Scotland’s most spectacular waterfalls could be lost unless £25,000 is found to repair a walkway.
The Steall Falls, at the head of Glen Nevis, is the second highest waterfall in the UK, but the path to the attraction is crumbling under the elements and the sheer number of visitors.
Around 40,000 people a year walk the steep, rocky and beautiful route to the falls.
Fran Lockhart, the John Muir Trust’s Nevis manager, said they needed to raise the money to secure the future of the popular pathway.
She said: “The path is under a lot of strain and is now starting to show its age. We’ll use the funding to carry out appropriate repairs to reverse damage and work to strengthen likely weak spots on a regular basis.
“This will ensure access through the gorge so that people can continue to explore these amazing rugged surroundings and enjoy one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Scotland for many years to come. If we don’t do anything, there’s a serious risk that access will be lost completely.”
The rocky route allows visitors to cross above the fast-flowing gorge, and more than 100ft below at parts, then drop into a picturesque hidden valley. The pathway is also the main access point for The Mamores.
The John Muir Trust, who manage the site, has entered an online conservation competition in a bid to win £25,000 of funding.
They are hoping to secure enough public votes in a competition run by the European Outdoor Conservation Association.
The Steall path will be pitted against other conservation projects and the winning project will receive £25,000.
Broadcaster and author, Cameron McNeish, is backing the trust’s bid for the funding.
He said: “Steal George is a fantastic route into a stunning area of wild land – the sort of path that everyone should travel along at least once in their lives.
“I’ll be voting for the John Muir Trust and I’d urge anyone who loves the UK’s wild places to do so as well.”