Old Man of Storr. Isle of Skye.
The Old Man of Storr is one of the most iconic and easily recognizable sites on the Isle of Skye which also makes it one of its biggest attractions. In recent years, and especially since the Covid restrictions were lifted, this has meant it has seen a huge increase in user numbers, which in turn has meant that large areas have started to suffer badly from erosion, especially where walkers, when reaching the top of the main pitched path, dropped down in order to take a more direct line to the Photographers Knoll and then from the low boggy ground, the direct line up to the knoll itself. This braid was highly visible and once the first few visitors were using it every day, it would become a procession of people following each other.
As such, the Highland Council and the OATS had partnered together to try find a solution.
CWC were contracted to build phase 2 of this project from just beneath the Old Man, then up behind The Needle then to follow the existing path cut into the cross slope beneath the ridge line and finally up to the summit of the Knoll itself.
This was a very large and high profile project that took a huge amount of planning. It was going to require large quantities of rock collecting from Scree slopes up at Duntulm for the pitching, and aggregate importing from the quarry at Kingsborough.
This then all had to be loaded onto trucks, driven to an area near to The Storr and prepped for air lifts. For this stage we were expertly assisted by A Macleod plant hire and haulage contractors.
Due to the huge numbers of visitors to the site, our proposals were for at least 3 separate lift dates, this was mainly so that the huge quantity of materials wouldn't end up blocking the path unnecessarily, but it also meant that on lift days, the areas to be marshalled were easier to control.
The path itself was to be of a mixed pitching and aggregate construction and to be fully reveted with stone built drainage features.
We were also required to make repairs and additional works on the first phase of works from 2 years previous. For this we reveted the sides, added anchor bars or step risers and extra pitching, as well as topping up the aggregates