A Highland adventurer launched two high-tech water Top up Taps at both the north and south ends of the iconic West Highland Way yesterday.
Cameron McNeish, a popular broadcaster and author known for his love of Scotland’s countryside, was at Fort William to be the first to fill up from the tap installed by Scottish Water as part of a nationwide roll-out.
At the same time, a second tap was unveiled in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, so thirsty walkers can now stay hydrated at both ends of the 96-mile route – the most walked long-distance route in Scotland.
Another tap has been installed in Inverness in recent days.
Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign aims to encourage more people to drink tap water on-the-go to benefit hydration levels, save money and protect the planet by using refillable bottles.
Renowned hillwalker and climber Mr McNeish was joined by members of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team in helping draw the first water from the tap.
He said: “Top up Taps at either end of the route mean walkers don’t need to fill up bottles at home or at other locations nearby. It means they don’t have to carry plastic bottles, reducing the risk of litter. So the taps will make things very convenient for them at the start and finish of the route.”
Chris Stirrip, of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, added: “Exhaustion from dehydration during arduous exercise while enjoying our mountainous environment has been a factor in some of our rescues both summer and winter.”
Top up Taps have been installed in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayr and Dumfries with further taps to be unveiled in Oban, Dunfermline, Aberdeen and Inverness.
The West Highland Way attracts around 85,000 people every year and as many as 30,000 people complete the full length of the route.