A hardy team of tour bus drivers have worked tirelessly through heavy rain showers to complete urgent path repairs in Lealt, as the company celebrates seven years of working in partnership with Staffin Community Trust (SCT).
Earlier this month, over the course of two days, seven drivers and office workers dug out the damaged paths, placed water bars, landscaped and resurfaced the path at Lealt with local material.
Rabbies Tours and SCT have teamed up on a raft of work projects across the Taobh Sear including path restoration at the Staffin Slipway, Brogaig, Columba 1400, Quiraing and now Lealt.
This has added up to almost 1000 man hours of work since 2016 and plenty of happy but aching limbs afterwards, with the Rabbie's staff often caked in mud as the work is often in very challenging weather conditions.
The Edinburgh-based company is a familiar presence on Staffin's roads with their white coaches and an important contributor to the local economy. Rabbie's has embraced its responsibilities to the community and drivers are often seen with letter pickers at their stops in Staffin.
Lealt is a popular stop-off for visitors as it offers views of an outstanding series of waterfalls and the Trotternish Ridge. SCT's interpretation signage also shares the story of Lealt's industrial past including the diatomite business. The wooden viewing platform attracts thousands of annual visitors but SCT cannot secure funding for the upkeep and cost of maintaining the paths or surrounding area so volunteer partnership projects like that with Rabbie's are crucial.
The heavy footfall of walkers coupled with even heavier rainfall mean that the paths require resurfacing and even rebuilding from time to time.
SCT continues to work to conserve the environment and improve path access as part of its Druim nan Linntean | Skye Ecomuseum project.
Druim nan Linntean manager Angus Murray said: "Rabbies have set an example for other companies to follow on how to give back to communities like Staffin under their 'We Care About There' initiative. This work is particularly important as it will enable this area to continue to be enjoyed by locals and visitors."
SCT also appreciate the importance in using local material and stone to be in keeping with the sensitive landscape. Paths are also important as they keep the majority of walkers in the right places.
SCT thank the SGRIPD for arranging delivery of path material and Highland Council's Skye access officer Mark Crowe for all his help in planning and input with the team on the ground.
'Before' and 'after' pictures of the Lealt path: