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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Wind-farm free areas set to become reality

In his monthly Viewpoint column, outdoors writer, broadcaster and mountain walker Cameron McNeish responds to breaking news from the Scottish Government. As far as I am aware no European Government has put an outright ban on wind turbines on particular areas of their country that are seen as nationally important in terms of landscape quality. The much-criticised Scottish Government could well be the first to do so. As I suggested last month the Scottish government wants relatively large areas of Scotland set aside as turbine-free. They have now made their position public. In new planning guidelines that have just gone

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature, News

SNH publish new Scottish Wild Land map

A new map showing the main areas of wild land in Scotland has been published today (Tuesday) by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). It is the first time this has been done in the UK. The areas include the part of the Monadhliath mountains south of the Findhorn – an area where applications for windfarms are currently going through the planning system. The map is shown on the right (click to enlarge) or can be downloaded here. The map shows 43 areas with the strongest wild land character, totalling approximately 20% of the country’s land mass. It incorporates the previously identified

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Posted in Nature, News

Walking still most popular outdoor activity for Scots

According to an annual survey by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) walking continues to be the most popular outdoor recreational activity among adults living in Scotland. Walking was the main activity on 73% of visits to the outdoors in 2012, with family outings next, and then cycling and mountain biking making up 4% of visits. Each year SNH tracks the proportion of Scottish adults visiting the outdoors for leisure or recreation at least once a week. The survey for 2012 shows that 42% of Scottish adults were visiting the outdoors for leisure or recreation at least once a week, a 4%

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Posted in News

Shenavall Bothy closed 4 to 12 May

Shenavall Bothy will be closed for repair work from 4th to 12th May. The bothy is frequently used as a start point for the Fisherfield Munros and is also a popular stop on through walks such as the Cape Wrath Trail. The bothy is maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association and the repair work is being undertaken by volunteers.

Posted in Access issues, News

May is most dangerous month for deer collisions

To avoid accidents, motorists should slow down and be on the lookout for deer on the road in May, warns Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). Vehicle accidents involving deer peak at this time of year, as yearling animals disperse, looking for their own territories. Because of this, SNH, in conjunction with Transport Scotland, are placing warning messages on variable messaging signs on high-risk trunk roads across Scotland from Monday, 29 April to Friday, 31 May. The signs are targeted on roads with higher rates of deer-vehicle collisions, covering areas of the Central Belt around Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as Stirling,

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Posted in Uncategorized

March of the Bluebells

The Woodland Trust Scotland is appealing to members of the public to be on the lookout for the common bluebell to help track their annual march north. In recent years the average first flowering for bluebells in Scotland has been in March, but records received through the charity's Nature's Calendar project show that the flowers have only just started to spread north through England. Sarah Wiseman said: “A visit to the woods at any time of year is a great way to relax and enjoy nature, and bluebells add an extra appeal because of their vivid colour. They are one

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Posted in Nature, News

Make your Mountain Matter says Mountain Aid

Mountain safety charity Mountain Aid is asking walkers to climb a mountain on 26 May and raise funds. Alex Slimon from Mountain Aid said, “This winter has seen an increased level of fatalities in the mountains, some of which could have been avoided had those involved taken suitable precautions. Mountain Aid is committed to the cause of safety on the hills and support for Mountain Rescue. However, as a charity, they need your help to achieve these objectives. “We are delighted to tell you how this can be achieved as part of an enjoyable expedition to the hills. Most likely

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Posted in News

Wild Space opens in Pitlochry

One of the world's most respected landscape photographers, Colin Prior, opened the John Muir Trust's new visitor centre, Wild Space, in Pitlochry, yesterday (Mon 22 April). The opening was also attended by a range of other respected figures from the fields of conservation, mountaineering and tourism, including: outdoors author and broadcaster, Cameron McNeish; Maude Tiso; and the Chairman of VisitScotland, Mike Cantley. Colin Prior, who more than anyone has captured the essence of Scotland’s natural landscapes during his decades as a professional photographer said: “All my life I’ve loved mountains, wild places and the great outdoors so I’m delighted to

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Posted in Nature

Bridge down on Beinn a'Chreachain Munro route

We’ve received reports that the footbridge over the Water of Tulla at NN353468 is currently badly damaged. Only two twisted and damaged iron girders remain. If the water level is low it is usually possible to cross the river just upstream, but in spate conditions this becomes impossible, in which case it is better to remain on the south side of the Water of Tulla at the earlier track bridge. The bridge is part of the usual route up Beinn a’Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair – a pair of Munros overlooking Rannoch Moor. Thanks to forum user IamAJMiller for submitting the

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Posted in Access issues, News

Walkhighlands makes Mountain Safety and Rescue donations

Last year we pledged that we would donate £1000 to walking and conservation-related causes in 2013. So far we’ve donated £500 to mountain safety with two donations: – £250 to support the excellent education and hill-skills work carried out by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, through its safety officer Heather Morning. – £250 to the Cairngorms Mountain Rescue team, who have just had an exceptionally busy winter. “Whilst the primary aim of Walkhighlands is to provide the best possible free-to-use source of information for people interested in walking in Scotland, ” commented co-founder Helen Webster, “we’re delighted to be able

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Posted in Nature, News, Walkhighlands news


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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.