VISITORS to a spectacular site on the Isle of Skye will soon be able to use a newly transformed paths network.

The new paths at the Quiraing site were officially opened yesterday by Finance Secretary and local MSP Kate Forbes.

The work that has been carried out is part of the Skye Iconic Sites Project (Sisp), led by the charity Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland (Oats) with local assistance from the Skye Iconic Site Partnership Oats has upgraded and created a new footpath system at the popular tourist attraction with the aim of making it safer and more accessible to tourists and locals in the area.

The footpath network, which totals 300m combined, has faced the effects of increased footfall. It is hoped the restoration work carried out will help future-proof the area and protect the site for years to come.

Sisp promotes sustainable management practices while also ensuring a positive visitor experience.

The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, which is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by NatureScot, is supporting 70% of the cost of the project across the three iconic sites on Skye.

Forbes said: “It is great to see the Quiraing footpath restored, enabling visitors to the area to move around with ease. The new footpath means it is far more accessible for both locals and tourists to explore the beautiful sites across the Isle of Skye whilst protecting our natural environment.”

Dougie Baird, CEO of Oats, added: “This upgrade will make a huge difference as we welcome visitors to enjoy everything this stunning area has to offer with improved accessibility while also protecting the local habitat. We are pleased to have reached this key milestone in the project, helping to protect these stunning sites for years to come.”

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Eileen Stuart, deputy director nature and climate change at NatureScot, said: “It’s wonderful to see this renowned path is now restored and open. We continue to support the Skye Iconic Sites Project in the work to improve the quality of the visitor experience at the popular locations of the Quiraing, the Fairy Pools and the Storr.”

After completing the path works, the charity aims to ensure those who visit the area have improved accessibility. This includes access for wheelchair users on a 50m section of the path which leads out to a stunning viewpoint.

Habitat restoration activity at the Quiraing was also part of extensive work planned and managed by Oats and supported by the Sisp.

Sisp is part of an almost £9 million programme of projects to invest in the Highlands and islands to provide more and better-quality opportunities for visitors to enjoy natural and cultural heritage assets.