Change to Cairngorm funicular top station walks approved
Councillors have approved a move to offer the Cairngorms' Walk @ The Top guided treks on a permanent basis.
The walks from the Cairngorm funicular railway's top station on to the Cairn Gorm plateau have been run as a trial since 2010.
Before 2010 walking from the top station on to the plateau was banned under environmental rules.
Highland Council's planning, environment and development committee has approved the new arrangement.
SNH held a public consultation on the plan and has said that the walks would have "no effect" on the integrity of the site.
CairnGorm Mountain Limited, which manages the funicular and the Cairngorm ski resort on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, sought permission to continue its Walk @ The Top events on a permanent basis.
Approval was needed from Highland Council because of conditions it attached to its planning permission for the funicular railway.
Walkers will now be able to follow a circular route between the top station and the summit of Cairn Gorm.
The hikes will be led by a ranger and make use of the existing Summit and Marquis Well paths. Walkers will have to return to the top station with their guide.
A total of 2,174 walkers attended 353 walks held during the trial periods between 17 July and 31 October in 2010 and 1 May and 17 July in 2011.