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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Trees for Life biodiversity open day

Conservation charity Trees for Life is holding a special Biodiversity Open Day at its acclaimed Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glen Moriston on 14 July, offering people the chance to explore this biodiversity hotspot and to discover the rare and wonderful wildlife of the Caledonian Forest. The event is part of the British Ecological Society's centenary Festival of Ecology and also celebrates five years of conservation action at Dundreggan, Trees for Life’s flagship forest restoration project which lies to the west of Loch Ness. Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director, said: “The weekend will be an inspiring opportunity to

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Posted in Nature

Last call for Landscape Photographer of the Year

Only a few days remain for entries to the prestigious Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. UK photos have to be entered for the 2013 competition by 4 July. The overall winner will receive a prize of £10,000 with additional prizes for each of the four category winners and the under 17 competition. Entry details can be found at the Landscape Photographer of the Year website.  

Posted in Uncategorized

3 out of 4 Scots want wild land protected from windfarms

A new poll released today by the John Muir Trust reveals overwhelming support for the proposal that “the 20 per cent of Scotland’s landscape identified as ‘core wild land’ – rugged, remote and free from modern visible human structures – should be given be special protection from inappropriate development including wind farms.” On a five-point scale ranging from ‘strongly support’ to ‘strongly oppose’, 40 per cent said they would ‘strongly support’ protection for Scotland’s wild land, while a further 35 per cent ‘tend to support’ the proposal. Only 2 per cent ‘strongly oppose’ protection, while just 4 per cent ‘tend to

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Posted in Nature, News

Hill tracks

In his monthly Viewpoint column, outdoors writer, broadcaster and mountain walker Cameron McNeish looks at the proliferation of hill tracks. MOST of us thought it was a dead cert. Something the SNP government could easily do to shore up its environmental credentials, credentials that have been badly dented by continued approvals of mis-sited windfarms. I’m referring to hill tracks and the need for legislation to curb farmers and landowners bulldozing high level tracks so that shooters don’t have to walk too far. Current legislation allows “permitted development” for agricultural or forestry use but few people believe high level tracks for

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature, News

Windproofs

As discussed in previous reviews I operate a five item approach to layering for most of the year: baselayer, 100 weight fleece, waterproof shell, synthetic insulated jacket and windproof. These five layers can be worn independantly or together (so the sizing needs to be considered) to cope with most weather conditions. The garment that I wear most – but I’ve rarely seen on the hills – is the windproof shell. Just a simple single layer of breathable weather-resistant (not waterproof) fabric like Pertex, it’s lightweight, packable and thanks to a renewable DWR treatment can shrug off light showers and wind

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets

Tomintoul Hostel officially reopened

Tomintoul Hostel was officially reopened this week by Cameron McNeish, having been taken over from the SYHA by the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust. It will be known as the Smugglers Hostel, a nod to the whisky smuggling past that the area is well known for. With a long established affinity with hostelling Cameron McNeish, a former Hostel Warden, has previously spoken about his passion for hostelling and his belief in maintaining the Scottish hostelling product. He said: “It is with great pleasure that I am able to officially reopen The Smugglers Hostel. It is great that the community was

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Posted in News

Gleann Dubh-Lighe bothy rises from the ashes

Gleann Dubh-Lighe bothy, which was destroyed by fire in 2011, has been rebuilt and is once again available to walkers. With considerable assistance from the owners, Fassfern estate, volunteers from the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) have spent the last few weeks bringing the building back to life. Only the walls were left standing following the blaze. Now, the building has been re-roofed and windows, doors and a timber floor installed. It has been sub-divided into two rooms and a sleeping platform is being built. The bothy has been rebuilt in memory of Nicholas Randall, a keen hillwalker who was found

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Posted in News

Walkers asked to record bird sightings

A bird charity is asking for the help of hill walkers, estate workers and other outdoor folk in order to monitor Scottish upland birds. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) says that these are uncertain times for Scotland's upland habitats but by taking the simple step of submitting bird sightings volunteers can make a real difference. More than half of Scotland is upland. Land use and climate are changing and the BTO is seeking to assess the impact of these changes on upland birds. The ‘What’s Up?’ project is simply asking for sightings of birds in upland habitats, along with

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Posted in Nature, News

Wind farms out of control says wild land charity

The Scottish Wild Land Group has published a special issue of its magazine, Wild Land News, dedicated to the issue of wind energy. The issue, 'Wind farms gone wild: is the environmental damage justified?', calls into question the Scottish Government's focus on wind power as an effective method of tackling climate change. It suggests that far more needs to be done to protect Scotland’s communities, environments and landscapes from opportunistic development. The magazine features contributions from respected scientists, naturalists and artists; a powerful consensus that wind energy policy has been inadequately justified and comprehensively mishandled. Contributors identify threats to Scotland’s

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Posted in Nature

Cape Wrath community buy out gets go ahead

The Scottish Government has approved the community buy out application for land and buildings at Cape Wrath. This follows the decision by the Ministry of Defence not to seek to purchase the land, which had led to concerns that access to the Cape would be restricted. Commenting, the First Minister said: “The approval of the Durness Development Group application is a very welcome next step towards Scotland’s ambitious new target of a million acres in community control by 2020. “If the community is able to go ahead and successfully purchase the land, it will secure a stronger local economy for

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Posted in Access issues, News


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