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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Walkhighlands up for Herald Digital Awards

The Walkhighlands website has been shortlisted for the Herald Digital Business Awards – having made it through to the final two in the Tourism category. The winners, chosen by a judging panel headed by David Milne, editor of HeraldScotland, will be announced on Friday 4th December. These exciting new awards are to recognise businesses from all sectors that have seized the opportunities offered by digital technologies to drive success and competitive advantage. They are a chance to celebrate Scotland’s digital success stories.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Long Drive In?

Walkers and climbers are being asked if vehicle access should be allowed over certain Government-owned tracks, ending long walks to the start of ascents and crags. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has been asked to comment on allowing vehicles on the approach track for Ben Dearg near Ullapool and five tracks in Galloway. The MCofS has traditionally not been in favour of opening up access on tracks to cars and other vehicles, preferring the idea of the “long walk in”. The MCofS is asking if climbers and walkers are now generally in favour of opening up access to these

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Posted in Access issues

Free Castle Visits this Weekend

To celebrate the end of the Year of Homecoming, Historic Scotland is flinging open the doors of over 40 properties, free of charge, this weekend. The weekend of 28 and 29 November, just before St Andrew’s Day, has been chosen to give everyone the chance to enjoy these historic buildings and sites for free. The attractions included in the free weekend include the fascinating Dallas Dhu Distillery in Morayshire, Edinburgh Castle (which will also be open free on St Andrew’s Day), Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, and Iona Abbey. A full list of the participating properties can be found at

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Posted in Uncategorized

Wild Boar back in Scotland

Trees for Life will today launch an innovative forest restoration project with the arrival of wild boar in a special woodland enclosure on its Dundreggan Estate in Glen Moriston, Inverness-shire. Six wild boar – donated by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig near Kingussie – will be used to reduce bracken in an area of ancient birchwood on the estate, restoring a missing ecological process and facilitating the regeneration of native trees and woodland flowering plants. Alan Watson Featherstone, Executive Director of Trees for Life, said: “Wild boar are an integral part of the Caledonian

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Posted in Nature

Steve House wins Boardman Tasker prize

Steve House’s book, Beyond the Mountain, has been awarded this year’s Boardman Tasker Prize at the Kendal Mountain Festival. The £3,000 prize commemorates the lives of Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker and is given to the author of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature. On 17 May 1982 Pete and Joe were last seen on Mount Everest attempting to traverse The Pinnacles on the unclimbed North East Ridge at around 8250 metres. Their deaths marked the end of a remarkable era in British mountaineering and the two men left a long-lasting legacy of quality

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Posted in Uncategorized

New Code for Climbers Proposed

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has drafted a new code of responsbility for climbers and is asking for comments. The document has been drafted in response to growing concerns over liability for accidents, particularly from land owners, including many local authorities and other public bodies. The MCofS has always taken the view that climbers and walkers should understand that these activities can pose dangers which go hand in hand with personal responsibility. The general participation statement says, ““The MCofS recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should

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Posted in News

Ordnance Survey data may soon be available free

The Prime Minister and Communities Secretary John Denham has announced that the public will have more access to Ordnance Survey maps from 2010, as part of a Government drive to open up data to improve transparency. Speaking at a seminar on Smarter Government in Downing Street today, attended by internet inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Gordon Brown set out how the Government and Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency, will open up its data relating to electoral and local authority boundaries, postcode areas and mid scale mapping information. The proposals, which are being consulted upon, will

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Posted in Uncategorized

Remote Controlled Dogs on Schiehallion

Ally Macaskill, Wild Land Ranger for Schiehallion and Glen Nevis, has been using some innovative technology this year to help with wildlife monitoring on the John Muir Trust’s East Schiehallion estate. Ally’s German Shorthaired Pointers, Max and Gus, have been wearing GPS locator collars which relay their precise movements and location back to a handset that he carries with him on the hill. The slopes of Schiehallion provide breeding sites for many birds, including Hen Harriers, Merlins and Ptarmigan, as well as Red and Black Grouse. Ally uses his dogs to monitor the grouse by sniffing them out and standing

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Posted in Nature

Scotland’s beavers build their first lodge

The first beaver lodge to be constructed in the wild for over 400 years has now been built in Scotland, it has been revealed by the Scottish Beaver Trial, following the release of three beaver families which were released into Knapdale Forest, Mid-Argyll, in May. Project Manager Simon Jones, who discovered the lodge, said: “We are thrilled to see that one of our beaver families has now constructed their own lodge., marking the first-ever formal reintroduction of a native mammal in the UK. This is a fantastic sign that these beavers have settled into the area. They are following their

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Posted in Uncategorized

Dundreggan Reforestation Launched

A team of green-fingered volunteers from Moray-based conservation charity Trees for Life braved the elements to plant over 1,500 native trees on the Dundreggan Estate, Glen Moriston on Sunday November 1st, 2009. The sponsored tree planting event marked the beginning of Trees for Life’s programme of forest restoration on Dundreggan, which lies to the west of Loch Ness. Alan Watson Featherstone, Executive Director of Trees for Life, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who turned out for this special event despite the very wet weather. The team were fantastic, smiling and even singing in the rain as they worked. “It

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Posted in Uncategorized


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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.