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Council And Walking Charity Take Highland Estate To Court Over Access Rights

20th November 2021

Photograph of Council And Walking Charity Take Highland Estate To Court Over Access Rights

This article can be found on the Ferret web site.

A walking charity and Highland Council are taking a wealthy landowner to court in a legal case to stop the closure of a "historic and important path" that locals say has existed for generations.

Ramblers Scotland is fighting to keep a path open in Donald Houston's estate on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. It estimates its legal costs could be up to £82,000 in and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the fees.

The charity called the legal action "a last resort". An online court hearing is scheduled for 2 February 2022.

Read the full story HERE

Ramblers Scotland have a page for donations HERE

In 2019, two Ramblers were reported for aggravated trespass for simply walking peacefully on a path on the Ardnamurchan estate next to their Glenborrodale home.

Eventually no action was taken against the walkers, but now we must embark upon a landmark court battle against attempts to permanently sever the same historic path, which links Glenborrodale and Acharacle.

If we don't save this West Highland route - which you can see here on the map - walkers will lose access to a chunk of the nationally-important trail forever. It'll be a major blow to our hard-won access rights.

Ramblers Scotland is standing up for access rights on behalf of residents, visitors and Scottish outdoor community - will you join us?

We're not going to let a landowner get away with blocking access across their land without a fight. As Ramblers, we can't sit back and let this happen. No-one knows the joy of walking better than we do.

We fought for decades to enshrine Scottish access rights in law - and we won in 2003. We challenged attempts to restrict access at the Boquhan Estate in Stirlingshire in 2008 - and we won. We stood up alongside partners for the protected landscape at Coul Links in Sutherland when a US tycoon tried to turn it into a golf course in 2020 - and we won.

As a charity we face massive solicitor fees of an estimated cost of up to £82,000 in our fight to save the Ardnamurchan path. The path crosses an estate with an history of access problems - including ongoing complaints about locked gates and wrongfully denied access in recent years.

We must stop this and protect access rights, for everyone.

But your support is urgently needed to make it happen. With your help we can:

- Fight the attempt to remove access from part of the estate in court
- Provide expert support to our members and the local community
- Campaign nationwide to put media attention on this vital case.

Will you make a one-off donation today to help us fight back?

Together we can stop this.

We're entering this legal case alongside The Highland Council, and with you by our side too, we believe we can win.

But we won't succeed without the support of people like you. If you can, please help us by making a one-off donation today. Your support could help this case and other Scottish legal work.

We'll send email updates on the progress of the case to any donors who want them.

We cannot fight this case alone.

We need your help to deliver a clear message that the people of Scotland know their rights - and that they are worth fighting for.

Your donation will help us protect access rights for the people of Scotland, and our work to open up access to everyone, everywhere across Great Britain.