This manual has been devised for use by all who are involved in upland path management throughout Scotland - pathworkers, site supervisors, surveyors and designers, path and land managers, and funders. Its purpose is to give guidance on the basic principles of upland path management, pathwork techniques, and the context within which they should be used. The overall aim is to achieve a high quality of management and sustainable use of upland paths, and in so doing protect the exceptional scenic quality of the Scottish mountains. To achieve this it is essential that anyone using the manual has read and is familiar with Section One, the Introduction to Pathwork, before using the technical information in Sections Two, Three and Four.
- Section 1 introduces the basic principles of path management and the factors that need to be considered before commencing any pathwork.
- Sections 2, 3 and 4 cover the practicalities of upland pathwork. They include guidance on when and where to use techniques as well as how to construct and maintain them.
With all pathwork, the sites and materials differ from area to area, and variations will necessarily occur. It is therefore not practical, or desirable, for the examples given to be followed slavishly. Instead the guidance in this manual will need to be carefully applied to different sites, guided by experience. The introductory principles (Section 1.1) will be generally the same for all upland paths, and should be the minimum standards that are always observed.
This manual sets the standards in relation to Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ), and provides the supporting material for trainee pathworkers who are following the SVQ in Environmental Conservation at Level II. This manual can inform and guide path construction, however, it cannot replace experience gained from working on a variety of upland path sites. It takes time to gain this necessary experience but by training and assessment towards a recognised level of competence, the skills gained will be recognised and can be developed.
Path management practice and techniques are continuing to develop and evolve as more and challenging sites are tackled. It is therefore intended to continue to add to and expand the guidance and range of techniques accordingly. Comments, notes and information on new techniques are welcomed, by the contributors and members of the Upland Path Advisory Group. Contact can be made through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upland Path Advisory Group (UPAG)
The ‘Upland Path Advisory Group’ is an association of path building contractors, charitable countryside management organisations, statutory organisations, landowners, hill user groups and others interested in working together to agree and improve the standard and design of path management in Scotland and is the successor body to the Path Industry Skills Group (PISG).
Produced by The Footpath Trust for the Path Industry Skills Group ©
Hamilton, A.; Hunt, J. (Ed); Jones, B.; and Thomas, M.
Published by Scottish Natural Heritage 1999.
Alasdair Hamilton, Ordie Design Associates
Bill Thompson, Graphic Deeds
Bridget Jones, The Conservation Company
Jo Hunt, The Footpath Trust
Margaret Thomas, Upland Access Management
Mark Dearden, MD Technical Writing
Comments and contributions from Paul Johnson, Alisdair Eckersall, Paul Esrich, Keith Bryers, Bob Aitken, Doug Baird and Richard Ball.
Project Funders and Joint Copyright Holders:
Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland and The Footpath Trust.
Copies available from
Scottish Natural Heritage Publications,
Battleby, Redgorton, Perth PH1 3EW.
Price: £15.00, exclusive of postage.
HTML version by Skeely Design.