The EOCA grant has given a massive boost to the It’s Up to Us fundraising campaign for path renovation and habitat restoration works on one of Scotland’s most iconic mountains.
It’s Up to Us, the three-year partnership conservation project from the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland (OATS) and Mountaineering Scotland, has been awarded a €60,000 grant from The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA). The path maintenance and habitat restoration project on An Teallach, the popular Munro above Dundonnell in Wester Ross, is one of four international conservation projects to receive a total of €180,000 in the charity’s latest funding round.
This generous grant brings the fundraising total for It’s Up to Us to over £200,000. The current total, two thirds of the £300,000 project budget, secures essential contract works on An Teallach until at least May 2025.
EOCA is a charity organisation set up in 2006 by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) to enable businesses from the outdoor sector to work collectively together. It supports and funds a growing number of much needed grassroots conservation, protection, and regeneration projects around the world (except in North America where The Conservation Alliance does similar work), protecting the wild places and wildlife everyone cares so much about. Since 2006 EOCA has invested more than €5m in 194 projects in 65 countries throughout the world.
On their website EOCA highlights the only UK project to win a grant award in this round: “It’s Up to Us will bring together those who care for mountains and conservation to help raise awareness and funds to fix the path erosion scars on An Teallach, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, through path restoration using natural local rock materials. The 1250m of upland path and 1300m of light touch path works will protect the hill from further loss of biodiversity and allow habitat recovery in the eroded area. The project will use habitat restoration techniques to recover 4.95 acres of the lost upland peatland habitats.”
Chair of the Outdoor Access Trust Scotland, Duncan Bryden, said: “An Teallach – Gaelic for the (Blacksmith’s) Forge – towers alpine like above Little Loch Broom. One of Scotland’s great mountains, it delivers a special mountaineering experience for many people. OATS are delighted and grateful that EOCA member companies recognise the mountain’s special needs and have given this fantastic award to the It’s Up to Us project to help restore paths for both people and nature. It is a great example of businesses from the outdoor sector giving back to wild places.”
Mountaineering Scotland CEO, Stuart Younie, said: “The award of this grant from EOCA is fantastic news. It makes a significant contribution to our fundraising target, but just as important to our campaign is to have an established European charity which has supported projects all over the world, recognise the value of the work being carried out on An Teallach to restore nature and protect the environment. I’d like to thank EOCA for their generous support and to everyone who voted for It’s Up to Us.”
Catherine Savidge, General Manager at EOCA, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the project ‘It’s Up To Us! – An Teallach’ which the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland submitted to the European Outdoor Conservation Association for funding. The project was chosen during a thorough selection process which took almost six months, finally being selected by EOCA member companies for funding. We very much look forward to hearing reports on how the work is progressing, protecting fragile habitats in this special area.”