Lead organisation: Sgoil an Iochdair agus a'Choimhearsnachd
Total project cost: volunteer time only
One of our findings from our original community survey was that people would like to go out and walk more, but felt that it was difficult to do this safely. Concerns were raised about restrictions caused by fencing, and by worries about safety when walking along the roads. Since that survey, we see more and more people out walking and running, in part due to the good work done by the running and walking groups that are now operating.
We have had our own walk leaflet out, describing the route around Iochdar, which is level, and avoids the main road. It is quite descriptive, aimed at the slower or less fit walker, pointing out items of historical or environmental interest.
We have also been very fortunate in gaining permission to publish the walk descriptions that Martin Margulies writes for am paipear. The articles first appeared in Am Paipear, and are reproduced here with his permission. In 2011, the walks were collected together in a book, called Mhor and More. It is available from Amazon here.
Life moves on, and we are also aware that although there are quite a few adventurous walks, there isn't really a network of footpaths and cycle routes. Some work has gone to develop a long distance path from the Butt of Lewis, to the south of the Isle of Barra. There is also scope to incorporate QR codes, with gpass/i-phone app links. We are thinking on starting with two established paths, to Rossinish in Benbecula, and the loop around Iochdar. Our first challenge will be to see how well we can incorporate new technology!