Path Worker (Glencoe)

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £19889 pro rata per annum

Location: Glencoe

To contribute to keeping the National Trust for Scotland’s (NTS) upland path network at high standards of maintenance and design in order to protect natural heritage and enable people to have a great experience when they choose to visit the upland Properties for which we care.

Overall, this will be in pursuit of the National Trust for Scotland’s vision and strategic objectives:

Vision: Scotland’s heritage will be valued by everyone and protected now and for future generations.
• Protect: To protect and care for Scotland’s heritage.
• Experience: To provide opportunities for everyone to experience and value Scotland’s heritage.
• Promote: To promote the benefits of heritage.
• Support: To create an efficient sustainable business which supports our conservation needs.

For this job in particular, these mean:
Working as part of the Path Team is a national role across the Trust’s upland properties including but not limited to Glencoe, Ben Lawers, Ben Lomond, Torridon, Kintail, Goatfell and Mar Lodge Estate National Nature Reserve. To maintain the Trust’s upland path network through targeted restoration and maintenance tasks. Under the day-to-day direction of the path team leader and in liaison with others as necessary, the work will include clearing drains, re-surfacing works, repairs to damaged stonework and all aspects of upland path construction and maintenance works.

The key purpose of the job is to ensure that all upland paths are maintained to a high standard through maintenance, repair and construction of upland paths to industry standards while being conscientious about conservation, the environment, visitors, and your surroundings.

The Path Worker will be responsible for and aware of their own health and safety and that of the team, volunteers, contractors, and visitors. They will assist in developing a culture of safe working, as well as contributing to the overall conservation and development of the Trust’s Properties and their enjoyment by visitors and supporters. The Path Worker will feed into publicity and fundraising campaigns and help promote the Footpath Fund whenever possible. They will also participate in and contribute to the smooth running of the team both on site and in accommodation when working away.


Essential – Full driving licence.

• SQA level 2 in environmental conservation or higher.
• Mountain leader certification.

Skills, Experience and Knowledge
Essential –
• Path Work across a range of types of upland and/or remote country landscapes.
• Interpersonal communication skills including a personable manner with the public.
• Working and living for periods in a small team

• Previous experience working in an upland / countryside path team.
• Navigation and mountain awareness skills – mountain leader experience.
• Background in environmental conservation work, particularly in Scotland.
• Knowledge of GIS systems or digital mapping.


Footpath work involves a mixture of repair/maintenance/improvements at the Trust’s upland properties which are often in remote upland/mountain locations where vehicular access is not possible (or appropriate for conservation reasons). Occasionally, materials and equipment may be dropped-in by helicopter, but the team generally “walks in” (and out) with the tools/equipment it needs, often over several miles As part of the Trust’s approach to path repair/maintenance, the team sources materials locally, manually moving stone/gravel/turfs from areas adjacent to the path to be repaired/maintained, and into position to make the path feel as “natural” and “in keeping” with its natural surroundings as possible. The work is strenuous and takes place in all weathers (unless conditions make it unsafe to do so).

The 4-person team is based in Glencoe, (or at least the work’s truck is) but usually spends several consecutive days/nights per week at other properties, so as well as working together the team regularly lives together in basic shared accommodation. Occasionally the team will work with contractors and volunteer groups.

A typical working week might involve:
• Team depart from Glencoe at 8am Monday morning, (depending where you live will determine if you have to make your own way to site or meet at Glencoe) drive to property, walk tools into site and begin work, gather stone, dig out path tray, cutting turf etc. (lunch and refreshments are all taken on site and are the responsibility of the individual to prepare).
• Team return to accommodation at or near the property, often in self-catering accommodation, for 6pm where the team are “off duty”. Evening meals are the responsibility of the individuals to prepare / obtain. Allowance for expenses is given by NTS.
• Tuesday – 8 till 6 on site and return to nearby accommodation.
• Wednesday 8 till 6 on site and return to nearby accommodation.
• Thursday work on site until approximately 3pm, secure site then return to vehicle and drive back to Glencoe for 6pm. Clean up and packing on the Wednesday night to free up the accommodation by 8am Thursday morning.

This is a typical pattern only, the work will vary, e.g.: there may be some weeks when training or attendance at central Trust meetings mean few or no days on the hill during the week.

National across l the Trust’s upland and remote Properties. There are 460km of path in the Trust’s upland network and the Path Worker will experience every meter at some stage in their career with the Trust.

People Management
 Not a line manager, but occasional supervision of volunteers/apprentices/work experience or other work parties.
 Works closely with other staff members.
 Regular interaction with members of the public of all ages and abilities.
 Occasional working with external contractors.
 Liaison with property staff and external organizations.
 You will be expected to assist and feature in NTS publicity and fund-raising initiatives.

Finance Management
• Not a budget-holder, but will be expected to take responsibility for the careful and effective management of Trust tools, materials, equipment and resources. And fill in expense claims accurately.

• Frequent user of driven vehicles such as team vehicle.
• Infrequent user of ‘powered’ tools such as power barrow.
• Frequent user of hand-tools such as spades, mattocks, pinch bars, winch, sledge and dyking hammers.
• Regular user of IT (CoreHR peoples system)

Example key performance indicators and targets
• Ability to keep up with the team once trained.
• All work carried out to industry standard and passed by competent path manager.
• Weekly targets set by team leader, for example: clear XX path drains, repair XX features and build XX meters of path.
• Yearly targets set by Path Manager, for example: maintain Glencoe paths XX to XX to a high standard by the end of the year, these will be discussed in detail during the probationary period.

Application Deadline: Friday 03/12/2021