Walk the Wild with the John Muir Trust: Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis comprises 1,761 hectares within the Ben Nevis and Glencoe National Scenic Area. The Trust works to manage visitor impact to the UK’s highest summit, and aim to encourage the natural expansion of native woodland including Scots pine.

Nevis is a popular destination attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. Over 100,000 people walk to the summit of the Ben – the UK’s highest point – every year. Around 60,000 enjoy the wild and rocky route through the Steall Gorge to the stunning Steall Ban waterfall (which appears in the Harry Potter film, Goblet of Fire).

© Alex Roddie

The JMT work to manage visitor impact by maintaining the upper stretch of the Ben Nevis summit path as well as the Steall Gorge trail. They collect litter in collaboration with local organisations such as Friends of Nevis. One quarterly litter clearance on the summit of Nevis filled 18 bin bags with rubbish left on the hill – 10 of them just banana skins (they can take years to degrade).

They carry out regular wildlife and habitat surveys at Nevis to inform our ecological restoration work. This includes deer control so that native trees, and other habitats, can regenerate. The Trust reports year on year seedling growth in the area.

Trust land at Nevis lies within two protected sites of national and international importance. The Ben Nevis Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is noted for a diverse range of habitats and wildlife. The Ben Nevis Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) recognises important geological features.

The Trust works with neighbours and other land managers in the Nevis Landscape Partnership to manage this special and popular area. They recently repaired the popular Steall Gorge path after a major rockfall in September 2016.

How you can help

Becoming a member of the John Muir Trust is a great way to help take care of the wild places you love now and in the future. TGO readers can get a 25% discount when joining online by using the promotional code: TGOWILD. Find out more and sign up to help the UK’s leading conservation charity dedicated to the experience, protection & repair of wild places at: www.johnmuirtrust.org/join

Header image courtesy of the John Muir Trust

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