SNH Commissioned Report 436 - Paths and climate change - an investigation into the potential implications of climate change on the planning, design, construction and management of paths in Scotland

Climate change presents new challenges in how we plan, design, construct and maintain paths in Scotland.

This study evaluates the potential impacts of predicted climate change trends on path features. It then considers possible adaptations to minimise these effects and thus protect the significant investment made in paths and to encourage active lifestyles. It’s also vital to conserve our historic paths.

Acute impacts caused by discrete extreme weather events are likely to result in major path damage, though this may be highly localised. Chronic impacts caused by ongoing changes to our climate may lead to the gradual deterioration of all paths in Scotland.

To prepare for these pressures and potential impacts, existing standards for path construction and management should be put in place now. Each path network should be assessed for risks associated with climate change. Plans can then be drawn up to address these risks and make our paths resilient to climate change.

Published: 2011
Pages: 67

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