The John Muir Way is managed by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust and is a flagship project for the Central Scotland Green Network. The route is managed in partnership with the ten Access Authorities along the Way and other key landowners and stakeholders.
The 134 mile long distance route runs coast to coast from Helensburgh to Dunbar and is accredited as one of Scotland’s Great Trails. It lies within 10 miles of almost half of Scotland’s population and provides opportunities for a wide range of social, economic and environmental outcomes.
Launched in 2014, the John Muir Way was the vision of Keith Geddes, and was delivered by Scottish Natural Heritage with a wide range of partners and funders at a total cost of £2.3m.
Development of the route was guided by the vision for: “an outstanding coast to coast route across the diverse landscapes and rich heritage of central Scotland; easily accessible and attractive to local people, businesses and visitors, and providing opportunities for all to increase understanding of John Muir’s legacy and philosophy through getting closer to nature”.
In 2016, a John Muir Way Partnership Group was formed to drive forward the further development and promotion of the route. This comprises Argyll & Bute Council, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, The City of Edinburgh Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, East Lothian Council, Falkirk Council, Forest Enterprise Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, John Muir Birthplace Trust, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, NFU Scotland, NHS Health Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Canals, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, Stirling Council, Sustrans, VisitScotland, West Dunbartonshire Council and West Lothian Council.
Management of the John Muir Way passed from Scottish Natural Heritage to CSGNT in 2016 and a John Muir Way Development Officer was recruited, with funding support from Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Enterprise, to coordinate activity and develop funding bids. A series of thematic working groups has been established with key partners and stakeholders. Funding from LEADER and local authorities is currently delivering a multi-year marketing and business engagement project.
The John Muir Way is an example of the multiple public benefits that can be achieved through partnership working under the CSGN initiative.