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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Caledonian Forest and Wildcat conservation plans win awards

Conservation charity, Trees for Life, received a double boost yesterday (30 October) when the conservation charity was announced as a finalist for the People's Millions televised vote to win up to £50,000 of Lottery funding, and its founder won the Outstanding Contribution to Nature category at the RSPB's Nature of Scotland Awards 2013. The Awards also recognised the innovative work of The Cairngorms Wildcat Project which has raised the plight of the ‘Highland Tiger’ in public consciousness and come up with a workable plan to conserve the species. The People’s Millions is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and ITV,

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Posted in Nature

Alladale Estate: Walking with Wolves

WOLVES. The very name stirs the emotions. To some the thought of wolf packs roaming the highlands would be a dream come true, the ultimate in re-wilding. To others the prospect strikes fear, alarm and concern, not only because their childhood bogies are still alive and well and feature a certain Red Riding Hood, but because they have a genuine disquiet about the effect of roaming carnivores on their livelihood. Wolves are natural predators and are as liable to take a sheep as a red deer. Paul Lister. Millionaire heir to the MFI furniture fortune and a name that, depending

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine, Nature

Viewpoint: Taking a Stand

In this article first published in the Autumn edition of the John Muir Trust members’ Journal, the Trust’s communications editor Alan McCombes outlines how the giant wind farm proposed at Stronelairg in the Monadhliath Mountains poses a very real threat to an outstanding area of wild land – and why he feels it is worth fighting against. “Between Loch Ness and the Cairngorms lies a vast, mysterious landscape which has been described as Scotland’s terra incognita. Monadhliath Mountains range across more than 700 square miles – an area larger than the Peak District and not much smaller than the Lake

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Alt-Berg Yan Tan boots

Yorkshire boot manufacturer Alt-Berg has spent over three years developing the new A-Forme boots, which are designed for a different foot shape to the existing Alt-Berg range and the majority of boots from other manufacturers. Not only do the new Yan Tan boots feature this new last, they also represent a radical departure from Alt-Berg’s standard range of traditional leather boots. Alt-Berg Yan Tan Price: £170 weight, fit, build quality price   The Last Alt-Berg suggest that standard boot shapes tend to push the big toe inwards. Alt-Berg’s new A-Forme last adopts the asymmetric shape which  accepts the existing toe

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews

Clock change increases deer risk on roads

As the clocks turn back, motorists are being warned of the greater risk of collisions with deer in Scotland. Car accidents involving deer peak at this time of year; with night falling earlier, the peak commuting time coincides with deer coming out to feed on grass verges near roadsides. Because of this, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), in conjunction with Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland, are placing warning messages on electronic variable messaging signs. From Monday, 28 October to Monday, 18 November, the signs will warn motorists at key locations on the main trunk roads across West and Northwest Scotland. These messages

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Posted in Uncategorized

Estates apply for U-turn on Beauly-Denny restoration

Drumochter and Ben Alder Estates have submitted planning applications to retain several miles of the temporary access tracks built for the construction of the Beauly – Denny powerline. Drumochter wish to retain 4.5km of track east of the A9, whilst Ben Alder wish to retain a shorter 600m of track to the west of the A9. The original permission granted for the Beauly-Denny powerline required that all temporary tracks must be reinstated once construction was completed. However, the documents submitted by the agents for Drumochter Estate state that “since the track was constructed, it has become apparent that it offers

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Posted in Nature

Winterise your rucksack says mountain safety expert

Climbers and walkers are urged to take simple steps now to keep themselves safe through the autumn and winter. Days are already getting shorter and will seem shorter still when the clocks go back an hour this weekend. “A head torch is a crucial bit of kit for these shorter days,” says mountain safety expert Heather Morning. “It can make the difference between getting home safely and spending the night out on the mountainside, lost or injured.” Heather, Mountain Safety Adviser for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), said: “Shorter daylight hours, dropping temperatures and the first dusting of snow on the

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Posted in News

SNH chair praises Mountain Bothy Association

The chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has praised the achievements of the Mountain Bothy Association in delivering public benefits through its work and called for more partnerships between the public and voluntary sectors. Andrew Thin, was addressing the AGM of the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) in Ballater on Saturday (19 October). He highlighted the growing importance of the voluntary sector in delivering public policy. Mr Thin, a MBA member since the 1980s, said: “The MBA is one of the finest examples in the UK of voluntarism and philanthropy in action, delivering huge public benefit. It is to be commended

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Posted in News

Easter Ross wild land threatened say JMT

As a Public Local Inquiry gets underway today (21 October) into an application for a giant wind farm in Glenmorie, Easter Ross, the John Muir Trust signalled its strong opposition to the development. The site extends into an area identified in recent mapping by Scottish Natural Heritage as a ‘core area of wild land’. Earlier this year Highland Council triggered the inquiry when councillors on the North Planning Application Committee voted unanimously to raise an official objection against the proposal. The John Muir Trust is backing the council’s stance, and will be attending the hearing this week in Ardross. Helen McDade,

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Posted in Nature, News

Mountain Aid Winter Safety Talks

Mountain Aid will be running a series of free Winter Safety Talks next month. The speaker will be Mick Tighe, a professional Mountain Guide in Lochaber and for many years the national Training Officer to Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams. 21 November 2013 – Hosted by the Cioch Mountaineering Club in the Pitbauchlie House Hotel, Dunfermline at 8pm 22 November 2013 – Cotswold Outdoor Stores in central Aberdeen at 7.30pm 25 November 2013 – Cotswold Outdoor Store in central Edinburgh at 7.30pm 27 November 2013 – Glasgow University in Western Infirmary Lecture Theatre at 7.30pm The talks are free, at Dunfermline just turn up on the night, at all

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Posted in 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.