Over the last five years, the Nevis Landscape Partnership has achieved what it says on the side of its bus – carried out a programme of 19 projects, with tremendous volunteer support. This £3.4 million scheme has had a tangible and positive impact on key species and habitats, as well as on opportunities to enjoy, engage with and learn about this special landscape.
The level of success was not just down to the hard work of everyone involved, but also to fantastic co-operation and communication. Many of the individual projects were too large or complex for any one group to tackle, but by bringing together people from different backgrounds and skills, lasting partnerships have been forged. The resulting programme was much more than the sum of the individual projects, as highlighted by the facts, figures and photos below.
- 24 climbers, geologists and botanists collaborated on the innovative North Face Survey, finding new records for rare species on Ben Nevis, confirming the outstanding variety of high mountain plants and transforming our understanding of the geology of Scotland’s highest mountain. Before the survey, we only knew about 50 populations of the target species on the North Face, mostly in more accessible areas. Now, more than 300 populations of these species have been recorded, including new sites for some of our rarest arctic-alpine plants, such as tufted saxifrage and wavy meadow-grass, and two species not found previously on the Ben, alpine saxifrage and curved woodrush. You can find out more about the survey in this beautiful pictorial in the Guardian.
- 3,800 days of volunteer work, including litter picks, wildlife surveys, running events and repairing paths, with over 100 new volunteers recruited and more than 400 taking part regularly.
- 5 km of Ben Nevis Path repaired, involving 1,100 helicopter lifts of stone and 3,500 volunteer hours to complement the professional contractors.
- A new all-abilities bridge and riverside path to Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, which is now used by thousands of people each year.
- New interpretation at Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, doubling of the number of visitors in summer 2018.
- Over 12,000 native trees planted, covering 22 hectares, with involvement by 384 children from 15 schools and youth organisations.
- 35 Trainee Volunteer Rangers (TVRs) trained with key skills in countryside management and public engagement with natural and cultural heritage, contributing the equivalent of eight employee-years of labour.
- 4,468 people participated in 131 engagement events.
- Over 20 publications, including journals, reports and articles in local and national news media (available on the website for individual projects, such as the North Face Survey)
- 24 films watched over 156,000 times on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter, as well as participation at the Fort William Mountain Festival.
- 1,190 Facebook posts with 1.5million views, 54,000 engagements and 3,000 followers, with users from 70 countries.
- £3.4 million funding from 18 different organisations, with 47% from Heritage Lottery Fund and SNH contributing £550,000. The total value was £3.8 million, including ‘in kind’ volunteer and partner contributions.
For more information, check out www.nevislandscape.co.uk
The numbers are impressive, but the benefits go far beyond that. The scheme received wide support and participation from local people, drawing in people from all backgrounds and interests. Partnership working and problem solving at the local level has been strengthened significantly over the last five years, providing a solid platform for future action.
Nevis Landscape Partnership will continue to work with a range of organisations, landowners and stakeholders to build on the success of the last five years. Their coordination role will become ever more important as we see increasing visitor numbers in this iconic, internationally important area for nature, landscape and recreation. In fact, the Nevis Strategy 2020-40 proposes a 100-year vision where the people, place and community are intrinsically linked to the health and well-being of all.
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