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John Muir Way Greening Study

LocationCentral Scotland

ClientGreen Action Trust


As a national route named in honour of a great naturalist, the John Muir Way will offer an exemplary experience in bringing people and nature harmoniously together. This Greening Study aims to explore the potential for ecological and placemaking improvements to magnify the impact of the trail, particularly where this can also address environmental inequities in communities along the route.

As a multi-functional green network feature, the John Muir Way will connect people and nature, support green recovery, address the climate and biodiversity emergencies and encourage active green travel. The proposals will consist of implementation works and habitat management prescriptions, which together will enrich the route corridor and better connect it with the wider habitat networks. They are founded on a full and detailed field assessment of the current condition of the route, issues affecting it, and potential opportunities for habitat and green infrastructure improvements.

Having surveyed the full length of the trail, plus the alternative cycling options, we have identified opportunities for green infrastructure and biodiversity enhancement. This has been done using a set of clear and practical criteria defined in liaison with the project steering group; simple enough to be applied during field survey work, whilst providing sufficient data for network-wide GIS mapping and reasoned justification for the proposals. The mapping criteria include ecological, heritage and social indices, as well as experiential judgements of the trail; all of these have been used to inform the proposals and the overall action plan for improvements.

This work was commissioned by the Green Action Trust on behalf of John Muir Way partners and has been financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community LEADER 2014–2020 Programme. We have consulted with all of the 9 local authorities and the National Park through which the Way passes, together with Scottish Canals, Historic Environment Scotland, Forestry & Land Scotland and NatureScot.

Explore this exciting project through our interactive StoryMap.

Field survey of the Way in Strathblane

The John Muir Way passes through the Forth Bridge World Heritage Site, on a route shared with the Wanderings and Windings.