Bridge dedicated to Lochaber woman
AROUND 150 people turned out to celebrate the opening of the Glen Nevis bridge on Sunday, which has been dedicated to a Lochaber woman who lost her battle with leukaemia.
Difficult terrain had previously made the glen’s riverside path a no-go area for wheelchair users, elderly and frail visitors, and families with young children.
But thanks to a £600,000 upgrade of the path and the provision of a new river crossing, the area is now accessible.
Before inviting traditional musician Robert Robertson to declare the new 1.5km route open, Alex Farquhar, chairman of the Nevis Partnership, which led the two-year project in conjunction with the Highland Council, told the attendance partnership was the key to the success of the scheme.
He said: ‘This new all-ability path and bridge is testament to what can be achieved when organisations work in partnership.
' However, it is impossible to bring together a project such as this without the help, funding and goodwill of a great many people and organisations.’
The day’s celebrations, which included a march over the new bridge by Lochaber Schools Pipe Band and hours of family activities and entertainment, were sponsored by GFG Estates, part of the GFG Alliance, which recently became the owner of a large part of Glen Nevis when the business bought the Lochaber aluminium smelter.
The bridge was dedicated to Karen Haggarty, the former Glen Nevis visitor centre manager.
Karen started working with the Highland Council as a visitor centre assistant in 2002 and was promoted to manager a few years later. She died suddenly in March 2016 after a short battle with leukaemia.
Countryside ranger Fiona MacLean said: ‘ Karen was a hard-working and enthusiastic member of staff. She was instrumental in the decision to have the new bridge located at the visitor centre which will enable more hill walkers to benefit from the weather and safety information it promotes. She is missed by family, friends and colleagues.’
Husband of the late Karen Haggerty, Iain, with daughters Deborah and Dawn with the plaque dedicating the new bridge in her name.