A CONSERVATION charity has raised £10,000 to improve paths at Loch Lomond.

The Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs started an innovative campaign to raise cash from visitors, in a bid to rebuild the ailing walkways.

Now, the Friends of OUR Park visitor giving scheme has raked in a five-figure-sum.

Donations have been collected in a variety of different ways of the past four years, including opt-in donations on overnight accommodation within the park, as well as special menu items at local bars and restaurants.

Group chairman James Fraser said: "We are delighted to be continuing to raise funds to support this very valuable mountain paths work which is providing trainees and volunteers with an opportunity to learn new skills as well as making a real difference to the overall quality of some heavily used paths throughout the National Park.

“Our visitor giving mechanism provides an ideal platform for many thousands of visitors who enjoy the extensive path network to give something back and it is encouraging to see how many are willing to do so through Friends of OUR park donations.’’

The Outdoor Access Trust (OAT) is supporting the renovation project, which will boost 19 different paths in the area.

OAT chief executive Dougie Baird said: "We very much appreciate this generous contribution from the Friends innovative visitor giving scheme which is being supported by many local businesses located in the shadows of many of the most popular mountain paths that we have been involved in upgrading.”