The first 25 years of the Arran Access Trust

Many of Arran’s popular paths were created and are maintained by the AAT.

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If you enjoy walking on Arran you have probably benefited from the work of Arran Access Trust (AAT).

But what is the AAT, what do they do and what are their future plans?

The trust has been instrumental in developing and maintaining the paths around Arran for 25 years.

Originally formed with input from three groups, landowners and managers, land users and representatives from relevant organisations – including North Ayrshire Council and Scottish Natural Heritage – the trust’s initial tasks were to identify paths and routes which all parties could agree to develop and improve and to obtain the necessary permissions to complete the works and then find the funding to finance the contractors’ work.

Restoration of eroded paths in the hills and improving access for the less able were identified as priorities.

The first path developed was that beside the river in North Glen Sannox. This was closely followed by works in Glen Sannox to the Saddle, Coire Fhionn Lochann and a dozen other routes both upland and coastal.

In 2012, the trust took on the management of the Arran Coastal Way.

By 2014 the AAT had secured project funding to upgrade the route around the coast and employ a team of path workers.

Improvements were completed in 2016, and following on from this, in 2017, the Arran Coastal Way was adopted as one of Scotland’s Great Trails.

As well as developing and improving longer stretches of track, the trust assists smaller improvement projects, often undertaken by local volunteers.

It has also helped village improvement committees to maintain paths of local significance, such as the Fisherman’s Walk in Brodick.

Arran Geopark

In 2017 the trust acquired funding to develop Arran as a potential geopark.

It identified the main sites of geological interest around the island which required small stretches of path to improve access to them and employed a footpath team to accomplish this.

It also joined with the Lochranza Centre, National Trust for Scotland and Arran Heritage Museum to both improve existing interpretation and develop new information venues such as that at the Lochranza Centre.

New interpretative signs were put in place and information leaflets produced. The trust is currently pursuing accreditation of Arran as a UNESCO geopark site.

The AAT is keen for anyone who would like to be involved in any way, and in any project, to get in touch.

It is also interested in widening representation on the board and would be delighted to hear from any volunteering individuals or groups which may wish to adopt a stretch of pathway.

Further information about the Trust can be found on their website at and everyone is also invited to attend their AGM on Tuesday March 22 at 7.30pm at the Ormidale Pavilion in Brodick.