AN outdoor travel company is launching an initiative to help raise awareness of and protect the areas that are known and loved by Scots all over the country.

The purpose of Rohan's Fix the Fells drive is to identify the national parks most in need of protection.

Rohan used a variety of data sources including visitor numbers and environmental offences to form a picture of the parks in 50 years if no action is taken.

The national parks in danger include Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and, elsewhere in the UK, the Peak District, the Lake District and Snowdonia.

Home to ever-popular Munros such as Ben Lomond and the world-famous West Highland Way, the at-risk Scottish national park saw more than 30 million visitors on its official website in 2021 – the second-highest of any UK national park.

One of the main causes of potential damage is footpath erosion, where excessive walking kills vegetation and exposes bare soil, harming the landscape – the severity is mainly determined by the volume of walkers and how many stray from the intended path.

Joanne Backshall, programme manager at Fix the Fells, said: “If no action is taken to look after paths and repair damage, then erosion will spread – more vegetation will be trampled and die, more soil and stone will be exposed and washed away, and ultimately more of our stunning mountain tops, ridges and main routes will become gullied and ugly.”

Giles Polito, marketing director at Rohan, said: “We’re incredibly fortunate in the UK to have such stunning national parks on our doorstep and it’s fantastic that so many people are getting out to enjoy them.

“Since our launch in 1972, we’ve always encouraged the nation to head outside and explore these spaces, but it’s also important that we do everything we can to protect them, particularly those with high footfall so that future generations can appreciate them as much as we do.

“We all have a joint responsibility to look after the British countryside and listening to and supporting charities like Fix the Fells is a great way to play your part.”