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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Alfred Wainwright: Genius?

A number of years ago I was invited by the Wainwright Society to deliver their Centenary Lecture, I thought I was rather curious choice of speaker to talk about the legacy of Alfred Wainwright. For a start I’m a born, bred and patriotic Scot, and we all know that Scots hill-goers are a wee bit contemptuous of good old AW, and sometimes, just sometimes, we’re a wee bit contemptuous of the Lake District too. Some have suggested the Lake District is no more than a great sheepfold that could be swallowed up by the Rannoch Moor. Anyway, I accepted the

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Deadline near for hill walking detectives

This weekend is the last chance for hill walkers to submit photos of any bulldozed tracks they have encountered. Walkers were asked to turn detective and send in evidence which will be used by campaigners who want to show the damage done to the environment by these unregulated tracks with the aim of persuading the Planning Minister to change the law so these tracks would need planning permission before they could be constructed. Helen Todd of Ramblers Scotland and co-convener of the campaign group said: “We have long been convinced that unregulated hill tracks needed to be brought into the planning

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Posted in Access issues, News

Scottish National Trail website launched

A new website has just been launched to help promote the Scottish National Trail. The Trail – which was devised by outdoors broadcaster and writer Cameron McNeish and launched by First Minister Alex Salmond last year – runs for the length of Scotland, 864km from Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath. “This trail has wonderful variety, ranging from easy but beautiful walking in the Borders and Central Scotland before becoming progressively more challenging through Perthshire and the Cairngorms to become a real backpacking adventure in the Northwest Highlands. We’re delighted to have completed a detailed guide and description to walking every

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Posted in News, Walkhighlands news

Plans for new Trossachs long distance path unveiled

A new long distance route in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park that will link the West Highland Way and the Rob Roy Way has been officially named. Bruce Crawford MSP helped children from Trossachs Primary School to christen The Great Trossachs Path. The 35 mile long route is aimed at walkers and cyclists, and is due to be completed in 2015. The Great Trossachs Path will form the spine of a wider network of trails throughout The Great Trossachs Forest, a large scale woodland restoration project which extends from Inversnaid on the edge of Loch Lomond to Kilmahog

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Posted in Access issues, News

Swallows success and puffins static on St Kilda

Swallows and Leach's Storm Petrels are the successes from St Kilda's bird breeding season this summer, the National Trust for Scotland reports, whilst numbers of puffins have remained the same. For the first time, a pair of migrating swallows have raised three chicks on the Hebridean island of Hirta. The nest was established in a garage operated by defence contractor, Qinetiq, who agreed to leave the doors open for the duration of the breeding season. Swallows are regular summer visitors to St Kilda, but this is the first time that they have successfully raised young. Meanwhile, efforts to monitor the

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Posted in Nature

West coast killer whales spotted off Scottish east coast

There has been a confirmed sighting of the West Coast Community of killer whales off Peterhead, the first time members of this small and highly unique population have been reported off Scotland's east coast. Video footage of the sighting, by Peterhead man Ian Nash on 20 August, clearly shows a male whale known as ‘John Coe’, identified by a very distinctive notch in his dorsal fin, along with another male and at least one female. HWDT has been monitoring the movements of this group since the early 1990s, with sightings recorded mainly in the Hebrides as well as off Ireland

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Posted in Nature

3rd Night of Adventure planned for 2 September

For the third year running, the Hopes and Homes for Children charity is running its Night of Adventure in Edinburgh. The event will bring together an eclectic collection of explorers and daredevils to share the experiences of adventure with a live audience. The evening will be hosted by award-winning writer and journalist Nick Thorpe. This year's speakers include Mark Cooper, ultra runner who completed a run from Amsterdam to Barcelona, award-winning photographer Anna Henly, and outdoors writer, photographer and sometime Walkhighlands contributor, David Lintern. The Night of Adventure will be held on Monday 2 September at Vue Cinema, Omni Centre,

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Posted in News

2013 Isle of Harris Mountain Festival

The programme has been finalised for this year's Isle of Harris Mountain Festival and there seems to be an intriguing mix of walks, talks, films, challenges and fun events. The Festival runs from 14 to 21 September and will include walks led by Alison O’Neill the “Barefoot Shepherdess” (footwear optional), golden eagle spotting and deer rutting walks, mountain walks, and the Harris 5 Peak Challenge. Chris Townsend will give a talk about his recent Scottish watershed walk, and there are also talks by Cameron McNeish, and photographer Laurie Campbell. Other events include a raft race, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing,

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Posted in News

Dunbartonshire & Stirling Outdoors Festival kicks off 31 August

A week on Saturday (31 August) will see opening of the third Great Outdoors Festival. Running from Saturday 31st August to Sunday 8th September the festival offers a programme of events across West and East Dunbartonshire and Stirling areas. Festival organisers say, “This is your chance to get out and about in some of Central Scotland's best settings: the Campsie Fells; the Kilpatrick Hills and the Trossachs and all the bits in between. “The Great Outdoors Festival offers walking, running and paddling and is a great way to explore the countryside. Experienced leaders guide all of the Festival’s events so

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Posted in News

Wild land charity takes legal action against Highland Council

The John Muir Trust (JMT) has lodged a petition to the Court of Session for a judicial review of the decision of the Highland Council South Planning Application Committee to conditionally raise no objection to a proposed 83-turbine wind farm at Stronelairg in the heart of the Monadhliath Mountains. The decision went against the national interest objection from Scottish Natural Heritage, which stated that the development, spread over an area of 35 square kilometres, one and half times the size of Inverness, would destroy the character of one of Scotland’s key areas of wild land. Planning authorities are legally obliged

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Posted in Nature, News


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