A Perthshire nature trail has secured £9,000 for improvements.
The Cateran Trail will receive £3,000 annually for three years as part of its delayed 20th anniversary commemorations.
Donated by the Hugh Fraser Foundation – which donates to charities in various sectors – the funding will allow authorities to maintain the popular walking and cycling route.
The trail is a 64-mile (103km) circular route through Perthshire and the Angus glens and has been open since 2000.
Andrew Barrie, who managed the Cateran Trail as Strategic Routes Officer at Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT), said: “It has been a great way to start the new year with new funding towards the much-loved Cateran Trail.
“We weren’t able to celebrate the route’s 20th anniversary last year but receiving this funding from the Hugh Fraser Foundation will go a long way to helping us keep the Trail one of the most accessible in Scotland.
“Being outdoors is great for mental health and wellbeing, so maintaining and improving routes like the Cateran Trail is important for local communities during Covid-19 related restrictions and for visitors when they’re allowed to travel here again.”
He added: “As the Cateran Trail has been recognised as one of the 10 best long-distance walks with overnight stays in Britain and one of the best bikepacking routes in Scotland, we want to be able to make it even more accessible along its whole length, including updating interpretation and signage, installing benches and self-closing gates, repairing path and walls, and much more to make it an unforgettable experience.”
The Trail is divided into five stages, and can be comfortably walked in five days. It has no official beginning or end, and can be joined at any stage.
Walkers on the Cateran Trail can enjoy the scenery and local villages along the route.
Chairwoman of the Hugh Fraser Foundation, Patricia Fraser said: “The Trustees are delighted to be able to give support and help mark the 20th Anniversary.”
She added: “I look forward to being able to come and walk and cycle some if not all of the trail in the coming year.”