Summit Track Construction
The final section of the Ben Nevis summit track from the 4,000’ contour to the summit of the Ben has now been repaired. The work was first planned for July 2007and was initially scheduled to be completed before the end of that year. Unfortunately, the British summer weather intervened and the project had to be postponed until summer 2008. Happily the work has now been completed (ahead of schedule) and further work on the corners of the zig-zag section of the track, down to corner three, has also been done.
The main reasons for this work were to protect the rare lichens and mosses that exist within this SSSI and to preserve the upper section of the old Pony Track. The repair work did not need to be as ‘engineered’ as the track lower down and is more in keeping with the mountain landscape -encouraging walkers to stay on the track, but blending in in an unobtrusive manner. Our picture shows representatives from SNH, The Nevis Partnership and contractors, Highland Conservation Ltd and Upland Access Ltd making a final inspection of the work in the Maclean's Steep area.
This is the first work done on the path since construction in the 1880s. The path is within a Special Area of Conservation, and therefore we are obliged to maintain the habitats and supporting species of Ben Nevis SAC in favourable condition. The bryophytes, lichens and higher plants that have the scree as their substrate should be maintained as part of this obligation as typical species for the habitat. This obligation covers the whole community, and thus the common species as well as any rare species present.
The completed work is predicted to result in a net increase in typical species cover.
Some sections of the track above the junction with the Halfway Lochan path are self evidently in need of repair and The Nevis Partnership is in the process of securing funding to enable this work to proceed.