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Monthly Archives: May 2013

MSPs to quiz Ministers on future of wild land

The John Muir Trust' “Better Protection for Wild Land” petition will be discussed in detail at the Scottish Parliament's Petitions Committee today (Tuesday 28 May) when MSPs take evidence from Paul Wheelhouse, the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, and Derek Mackay, the Minister for Local Government and Planning. The cross-party committee, which last month heard from the two top officials of Scottish Natural Heritage, will explore the Scottish Government's response to the Trust's campaign for a new national designation to protect Scotland’s finest wild land. Speaking in advance of the meeting, Stuart Brooks, John Muir Trust Chief Executive,

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Black Grouse benefit from new Ochils woodland

A new black grouse lek has been discovered inside the boundary of young woodland at the Woodland Trust Scotland's Glen Devon sites in the Ochil Hills. There are now two active leks within Glen Devon, the first of which was found to be active in 2012. Site manager Gary Bolton said: “By restricting grazing and establishing large areas of new native woodland alongside open ground we have created good conditions for black grouse and many other birds, such as short eared owls, goldfinches and common whitethroats. “Black grouse numbers are increasing but still relatively small at the moment, hopefully their

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Posted in Nature

Gear review: Walking Trousers for him

Not the most glamorous item of outdoor clothing, and a bad choice won’t matter that much, but they are still an important garment affecting comfort and weather protection on the hill. Some walkers favour tight and stretchy legging-style trousers like the infamous Ronhill Trackster, others a loose-fitting cargo-pant style. Regardless – they need to offer unrestricted movement. Full-cotton trousers are not ideal – taking an age to dry when wet, but cotton blends such as polycotton are much better. Fully synthetic fabrics are perfect though, lightweight and quick drying while resisting wind. The number and distribution of pockets is a

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Posted in Gear reviews, Trousers

Gear Review: Walking Trousers for her

Not the most glamorous item of outdoor clothing, and a bad choice won’t matter that much, but they are still an important garment affecting comfort and weather protection on the hill. Some walkers favour tight and stretchy legging-style trousers like the infamous Ronhill Trackster, others a loose-fitting cargo-pant style….. Read Phil’s review of mens’ walking trousers Here Helen tests 7 pairs of walking trousers for women. Kathmandhu Mamora TrousersRRP £55 Made from very comfortable-feeling fabric with four way stretch and water repellent finish, these trousers have tabs and press studs to allow them to be rolled up to 3/4 length.

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Posted in Gear reviews, Trousers

Scottish Midge Forecast back for 2013

The Scottish Midge Forecast has relaunched for its' ninth season, mapping midge levels across Scotland to help people plan their outdoor activities. Using a set of algorithms relating midge activity to a variety of environmental and seasonal factors, the forecast is supported by live catch data from a network midge traps operated by volunteers across the country. The Midge Forecast says, “Since it was first trialled in 2004, the midge forecasting system has proven to be as accurate as other established forecasts such sun and pollen indexes. “As the forecast uses historical midge catch data – which is continuously verified

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Posted in News

Remembering Tom

In his monthly Viewpoint column, outdoors writer, broadcaster and mountain walker Cameron McNeish pays tribute to the memory of climber, TV presenter and outdoors writer Tom Weir. IN the past few weeks substantial donations from the publishers of the Scots Magazine and Scottish Television have anchored a campaign to create a life sized bronze statue of one of Scotland’s most iconic outdoorsmen. Some months ago a group of fans came together to make sure that the late Tom Weir was remembered in perpetuity. They hope to raise the £50,000 that’s required to build the statue of Tom and place it

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Posted in Features, Magazine, News

Mountaineers dismayed by windfarm plans

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has expressed shock that Highland Council might support two huge industrial wind farms in the Northwest Highlands, near a National Scenic Area. The applications for Glencassley and Sallachy, near Loch Shin and Ben Assynt in Sutherland, propose a total of 48 turbines each at least 125 metres tall (plus concrete buildings and 33km of access tracks) in some of the nation's most important remaining wild land. Highland Council officers have recommended that the council’s North Planning Applications Committee, which meets on 21 May, should not object to the proposals. This is despite the fact that

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Posted in Nature, News

Biggest ever Scottish Nature Festival starts Saturday

With the most events ever, Scotland's Nature Festival (formerly Scottish Biodiversity Week) kicks off on May 18 with over 150 free nature events across Scotland. Organised by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and partners, the festival celebrates the Year of Natural Scotland and boasts a huge array of community events, taking place from the top of the country in Caithness, down to Angus, the Central Belt, and the Scottish Borders. Participants can wander in the picturesque gardens and take part in craft activities for kids at the Redhall Walled Gardens in Edinburgh; go on a big bug hunt or pond dipping

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Posted in Nature, News

Weekend avalanche forecasts cease

No further avalanche forecasts are expected to be issued for Southern Cairngorms, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, Lochaber and Northern Cairngorms. The Sports Scotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) has been issuing weekend forecasts for these mountain areas since the daily service stopped. SAIS says, “We will continue to monitor weather and,snowpack conditions and recommend the following: “Avalanche hazard considerations should always be part of any winter hill goers daily plans and we would recommend that climbers, walkers and off-piste skiers currently venturing into the hills, continue to note snow and weather conditions in respect of any potential avalanche hazard. Be prepared to

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Posted in News

Victory for Cape Wrath campaigners as MOD drop plans

According to reports, the Ministry of Defence are withdrawing their plans to take over 50 acres of land at Scotland's iconic Cape Wrath for military activity. MSP Rob Gibson said this was a victory for the community who have stood up to the MoD and put forward alternative plans to take over the land for the community. He said “This is a fantastic victory for the people of Durness and across the surrounding area of the North West Highlands. It shows the MOD can no longer try and get away with running roughshod over the people and land of rural Scotland.

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, 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.