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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Bivvy Bags

Often regarded the preserve of climbers perched on inaccessible rocky ledges or soldiers hidden in the bushes, in the right conditions the bivvy (bivi, bivvi or bivouac) bag can add a whole new level of enjoyment to an overnight camp. They’re basically a waterproof cover for a sleeping bag, ideally made from a breathable fabric to reduce condensation build-up within, and sometimes fitted with a zip to make access easier. Combined with a sleeping bag and a ground mat (placed within the bivvy bag or left outside) the small footprint makes it possible to sleep in places where a tent

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Posted in Camping, Gear reviews

Leith Hall reopens to the public

Leith Hall mansion house has welcomed its first visitors in almost five years. The historic house at the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) property at Kennethmont near Huntly has been refurbished to improve its visitor and functions facilities ahead of its re-opening. It will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am until 5pm during the visitor season. There are a number of interesting walks in the Leith Hall parkland and the re-opening of the Hall means that a full day out can be enjoyed at the property, where there are also formal gardens. The Hall was closed during

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Posted in News

Walker dies on Ben Nevis

A 51 year old man from Glasgow died on Saturday after collapsing while walking up Ben Nevis. Two off-duty doctors who were on the scene tried to revive him while the emergency services were called. The man was airlifted to Belford Hospital in Fort William by an RAF helicopter but pronounced dead on arrival. It is understood from the Police that the man was ascending the mountain track up Ben Nevis with two companions when he was taken ill. UPDATE: The deceased man has now been named by Police as Gerard Boyle, a retired civil servant from the Glasgow area.

Posted in News

Abandoned tent on Beinn Eighe sparks police appeal

Police are appealling for information after a tent was left, apparently abandoned, north west of Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair on Beinn Eighe in Torridon. The Police are keen to trace the owner of the grey and orange tent to ensure they are safe and avoid any unnecessary searches. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police on 101. UPDATE: Police have now identified the owner of the tent and have no further concerns.

Posted in News

Outdoor Magazines, have they had their day?

In his monthly Viewpoint column, outdoors writer, broadcaster and mountain walker Cameron McNeish asks where Outdoor magazines can survive. A magazine dropped through my letterbox the other day. After a cursory glance at the front cover I put it on top of a pile of other outdoor mags that I subscribe to. I must admit I laid it on the magazine pile with something of a guilty conscience and promised myself, for the umpteenth time, that at some point I would try and get round to reading them all. But do you know what? I probably won’t. Now this might

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Posted in Features, Magazine

First Scottish ash dieback case confirmed

The first case of ash dieback in a protected area of Scotland has been confirmed, Scottish Natural Heritage stated today. Staff from SNH and Stirling Council found a number of young ash saplings showing symptoms of chalara at Balquhidderock Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Stirling. Lab tests carried out by Forest Research at their Northern Research Station at Roslin have now confirmed chalara in two of the samples. At this stage no mature trees have been confirmed as having the infection. The disease is spread via airborne spores. Balquhidderock is privately owned but is managed by Stirling Council

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Posted in Nature

People 'powerless' in planning process

Almost three quarters of people feel they have no say over changes to their local landscape according to research by the National Trust for Scotland. The findings were revealed in a report published today. The Land We Love contains findings gathered through surveys of 700 National Trust for Scotland members, around 1000 members of the Scottish public and the attendees of a major landscape conference which took place in November 2012. Seventy two per cent of people surveyed said they had “no influence” in response to the question ‘do you feel you are able to influence how your local landscapes

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Posted in Nature

Busy year for mountaineering body

For the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (the MCofS) the last year has been spent safeguarding Scotland's mountains and supporting the people who use them. The 2013 Annual Report from the MCofS, the representative body for mountaineering in Scotland, has been published and highlights a year which has seen membership and the range of activities increase, with particular emphasis on safety, and the protection of Scotland’s remaining unspoilt mountain landscape, as well as encouraging the next generation of mountaineers. Chief Officer David Gibson said: “We have been active in opposing some of the increasing threats to Scotland’s mountains and wild land

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Heatstroke warning to walkers and climbers

Climbers and walkers are being warned to be careful of overheating and dehydration. More accustomed to coping with the cold and wet, people taking to the hills during the hot weather will have a different set of problems to face. “Even experienced climbers can be caught out by the heat,” said Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Adviser with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS). “Dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which is potentially fatal, are all possibilities in this weather. Climbers and walkers should be aware of the signs to look out for in themselves and in their companions.” The MCofS says

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Posted in News

Fire warning for Highlands heatwave

A large wildlife has already burnt a large area of heath and plantation near Laggan and the current tinderbox conditions have lead the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CPNA) to issue a special warning as part of a wider message to people enjoying the outdoors. The CNPA's Tread Lightly campaign focuses on five key areas of responsible outdoor access covering camping and litter, outdoor cooking, toilets, fires, and dogs but with prolonged dry spells and breezy conditions, it’s the issue of lighting fires that is of the utmost concern at the moment. Fran Pothecary, the CNPA’s Outdoor Access Officer explained: “The

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News


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