Contributing to our Community with Forest Manager Bryan Pearce

Community: Upgrading Loch Lomond and Cowal Way Path

Tilhill Forestry staff are encouraged and supported with their efforts in volunteering with their local community.

We spoke to  Forest Manager Bryan Pearce, West Highland about his role as a volunteer and with Tilhill Forestry in the development of the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way.

Tell us about this project…

The Loch Lomond and Cowal Way (LL&CW) is a long distance walking route and one of Scotland’s great trails. It runs for 57 miles from Portavadie to Inveruglas and travels through communities such as Tighnabruaich, Glendaruel, Strachur, Lochgoilhead and Arrochar. Business and villages along the trail are supported by the tourists the route brings.

There are a few sections of this walk that run through Tilhill Forestry’s managed land. One of those sections is in a woodland creation site that I’m working on (Succothmore). The path runs between Strachur and Lochgoilhead beside the Curra Lochain (Gaelic for Herron Lochan), this area was a difficult section to cross on foot let alone on a horse or bike. The LL& CW wanted to have a path right through to improve access.

Interactive Map here:- http://www.lochlomondandcowalway.org/map-page/ .

I managed the project, found competent contractors,applied for the necessary permissions and instructed and supervised the work. Some of my time was gifted by Tilhill Forestry and the rest was in my own time. The improvements were 4 km of new or improved path in a difficult to access area and took more than a year to gain permission and 6 weeks to complete.

In response to the work Bryan carried out on the project the Trustees and LL&CW team said:

“Bryan is one these people who quietly go about totally unselfishly helping those who seek his advice. He is more than happy to get involved in Community Projects such as The Loch Lomond & Cowal Way Path Upgrade.

The upgrade of the Path has been ongoing for the last 4 years and has seen a Major improvement throughout. After 2 years we were granted Scotlands’ Great Trail status by Scottish National Heritage, and with a footfall counter numbers showing of 2,000 users per annum pre Coastal Communities Funding (CCF) in 2014 and reached 45,000 users of LL&CW in 2018 This increase in numbers can only be achieved, with the co-operation and collaboration of organisations like Tilhill Forestry, who have helped in more ways than you can imagine.

Bryan has certainly done more than most in helping us to achieve our goal. His expertise and local knowledge have been greatly appreciated by the Trustees and the LL&CW Team, and it was for this reason that the Trustees awarded Bryan an Ambassador’s club membership. We have a handful of Distinguished Guests/VIP’s that have been awarded this, they have all been presented with a Certificate and Handmade Goblet as a mark of our appreciation for their support. Bryans involvement has been great in helping us negotiate between different authorities, which as we all know is no easy task.”

Caption & quote: Bryan Pearce. As seen In Local Paper.

“The Cowal Way and Colintraive & Glendaruel Development Trust would like to show their appreciation to Bryan Pearce Forest Manager of TilhillForestry, for his unselfish contribution in helping us at The Cowal Way, over the last 2 years. His knowledge and advice on helping us to improve The Cowal Way, has been fantastic, and is really appreciated by The Cowal Way Team.  Tilhill Forestry Management at Strachur, have shown a real willingness and collaboration, enabling us towards achieving our aim to improve The Cowal Way. We would like to welcome Bryan to the Ambassadors Club for The Cowal Way. Pictured is Bryan receiving his certificate, and hand made Goblet. “

for more information on Loch Lomand & Cowal Way visit their website here.