EOCA is a not-for-profit environmental outdoor charity with over 120 national affiliates across the continent. Berghaus is a member and supporter of the association and nominated the Suilven path restoration project in the Alpine category (for projects located at high altitude). The online poll will stay open until noon on Monday 19 October and Suilven faces competition from four other nominees in Italy, Spain, France and Rwanda.
The mountain is famed for its distinctive shape and spectacular summit views over land and sea. It has been widely celebrated in poetry, music and song by such diverse artists as the late ‘Bard of Assynt’, Norman McCaig, the Gaelic rock band Runrig and the classical music composer, Giles Lamb. Suilven’s ancient geological features are recognised within Scotland’s first European Geopark. However, exposure to merciless Atlantic storms and high footfall have taken their toll.
The path restoration work on Suilven, which is expected to cost in the region of £200,000, will be carried out by the John Muir Trust and the Assynt Foundation, under the umbrella of the Coigach-Assynt Living Landscape (CALL) Partnership. It will set out to restore an eroded 2.5km section of the route to conserve the mountain’s unique geological heritage, while maintaining public access to a remote mountain whose steady stream of visitors helps support tourism businesses in the local communities scattered across Assynt.
Richard Leedham, brand president of Berghaus, said “Berghaus is a long-time supporter of the John Muir Trust. Our staff have volunteered at the trust’s path restoration projects in the past and we can really appreciate their importance and positive impact on landscapes. Suilven is an iconic mountain in an amazing area of the UK, and we’ve taken it to our hearts to such an extent that we’ve named at least two jackets after it over the years! So we were delighted to nominate this project for funding from EOCA and will be working hard to encourage the public to vote to support the trust’s great work on Suilven.”
Kate Barclay, head of fundraising for the John Muir Trust, adds: “Suilven may not be the highest peak in the UK, but its deceptively fearsome shape and breath-taking views over land and sea attract hillwakers from all over Europe. The John Muir Trust will be working with the Assynt Foundation to maintain public access in a way that preserves Suilven’s wild character and fragile mountain habitats. We’re delighted that Berghaus has nominated us for this award, which if successful, will get us off to a great start.”
You can record your vote at http://www.outdoorconservation.eu/project-voting-category.cfm?catid=1.