Sustainable Visitor Management Project
The Bailies of Bennachie are working with landowners and user groups on the hill to develop a sustainable visitor management strategy for the Bennachie Hill Range. This project has been helped by @NatureScot #GreenRecovery#BetterPlacesFund and involves bringing people together to work on a future direction.
Work started in February 2021 on the first stage of examining the ways in which people are using the hill for recreation. It is the beginning of a long term effort to manage recreation more sustainably, opening up communication with landowners and users and developing a common vision for the future.
The chair of the Bailies Jackie Cumberbirch said:
“This is great news for Bennachie. We know how important the hill range is to people who come to its slopes to walk, run, cycle mountain bikes, and horse ride. It is also used for commercial forestry and is home to wide selection of wildlife.”
“We are beginning with an audit of all the routes on the hill to find out what visitors are doing on Bennachie. We plan to work with Forestry and Land Scotland, private landowners and groups that regularly use the hill to work towards better and more integrated visitor management.”
The grant enabled the Bailies to engage local consultants ‘Walking-the-Talk’ to guide the charity through the project. They will be working with volunteers and others to improve the understanding of the routes of Bennachie and who is using them. Part of this stage will be looking at similar sites that face or have addressed similar challenges and lessons that can be applied to Bennachie. Future work will involve working closely with land managers and the public to implement the strategy and there will be opportunities for people to get involved.