More than 700 volunteers have been given a boost in their efforts to upgrade well-loved paths across the country.
Paths for All has awarded 44 projects a share of £72,560 towards restoring, creating and promoting local pathways.
Groups across Grampian and the Highlands have landed grants, which will be used to clear debris, make structural repairs, install signs and lights or promote the routes.
Groups include the Banchory Paths Group, Gallenhead Community Trust on Lewis and the Minginish Community Hall Association on Skye.
Henrik Micski, project officer for the hall association, said the group planned to use their funding to improve the paths to the popular Fairy Pools.
The car park has already been upgraded, reducing the number of visitors parking along the roadside, and now the volunteers have turned their attention to make the paths to the pools accessible – while also narrowing them to reduce their impact on the countryside.
Mr Micski said: “We’re delighted to receive the funding.
“The number of people coming is still great but the environmental impact that is having on the areas is quite significant so we’re investing in the paths network. We still visitors to come, so hope to make it a positive experience with paths that are accessible for disabled and less abled people. They will be more robust to cope with the number of visitors coming.”
Ian Findlay, chief officer at Paths for All, said: “There is a growing movement of people choosing to walk or cycle instead of using a car as the public tunes into the benefits this can bring to their health and our shared environments.
“Without care or upgrades, paths can sadly become unsafe, unstable and fall out of use making walking and enjoying the outdoors difficult for many.
“But thanks to the dedication of these passionate volunteers, our vision of encouraging everyone in Scotland to walk every day and everywhere is becoming a reality.
“Improved paths really build on community spirit as they’re more frequently used by commuters, dog walkers, joggers, children playing and people enjoying the simple but very important pleasure of just going for a walk.
“We’re excited to see the difference that this work will bring to towns and cities across the country and know that a great number of communities will benefit.”
This year’s grant schemes have been funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.