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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Raptor Persecution: a National Disgrace

I'VE often wondered what it is that makes us so excited and thrilled to see wild animals or birds of prey in their own environment. A few years ago I made a television programme about a long walk on the Isle of Skye and we camped for our first night at Rubha Hunish, at the northern tip of the Trotternish peninsula. Before settling down for the night we had been watching minke whales surfacing just a couple of hundred metres offshore. We were thrilled, a hard-bitten, seen-it-all television crew, five grown men all experienced in the ways and sights of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

(Battered) Gear Review: Crux AK50

After my last post concerning the demise of the Inov-8 Terroc 330 trailshoes and in the midst of an uncharacteristic haze of nostalgia, I began to survey the other items in my gear store that have been called variously "game-changer", "iconic" or "go-to" depending on your penchant for the colloquial. As I’ve just booked my annual trip to the Alps my thoughts turned to the concept of a mountaineering rucksack. Mountaineers look for a rucksack able to cope with hauling in a heavy load of hardware in relative comfort, that’ll then cinch down and remain unobtrusive and rock-resistant during the

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Posted in Gear reviews, Rucksacks

Police raid estate in sea eagle enquiry

Police have searched an estate in the Cairngorms National Park following the mysterious disappearance of a tagged sea eagle in the area. The bird, which was the first sea eagle to fledge in Fife in 200 years as part of an re-introduction project, had been fitted with a satellite tag with the last recorded location being on the North Glenbuchat Estate in early April. Since then there have been no sightings or transmitter signals from the bird. Police Scotland said: “We are concerned for the welfare of a white tailed eagle and enquiries are ongoing to locate the bird. Around

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Posted in Nature, News

Last avalanche forecast issued for season

The final avalanche forecast from the Scottish Avalanche Information Service has now been issued. The forecasts usually run from December to the middle of April, dependent on the snow conditions and funding arrangements and cover five areas – Creag Meagaidh, Glencoe, Lochaber, Northern Cairngorms and Southern Cairngorms. This winter forecasts for Torridon were provided on a trail basis. The service is funded by SportScotland. Although the 20013-14 winter saw the highest number of recorded avalanches, there were no deaths caused by them in the Scottish mountains this year. Whilst the forecasts have ended for another year, there is still substantial

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Posted in News

Final stage of Loch Leven Heritage Trail now open

A final 6.5 kilometre section is now open which completes the Loch Leven Heritage Trail circuit around the loch near Kinross. The new section – which runs from the RSPB Nature reserve at Vane Farm to Kinross – includes the highest point on the trail, and gives some of the best views on the whole 21km route. The final section cost £800,000, and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with further contributions from Scottish Natural Heritage, The Arthur and Margaret Thompson Trust, The Gannochy Trust and Sustrans. A very valuable new donation was a bequest from the late Jean

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Posted in Access issues, News, Walkhighlands news

New wildlife observatory on Lewis

The Nature Observatory at Loch Stiapabhat Local Nature Reserve in Ness, Isle of Lewis officially opened last week. Roy Dennis MBE was invited to speak at a short brunch event in Ness before those in attendance grabbed their boots, scopes and jackets and made their way to the loch for the opening of the new observatory. The event was opened by Agnes Rennie, Chair of Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and guests heard a little about the project from Urras Manager Lisa Maclean, who explained that the project was funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, LEADER, RSPB and the John Muir Trust and

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Posted in Nature

Glen Nevis litter pick planned for 27 April

The Friends of Nevis are holding their first litter pick of the season on Sunday 27 April. All are welcome to the event at which volunteers plan to clean up areas of Glen Nevis and tidy the area around the Curling Pond. The event starts at 10:30 at the Ben Nevis Highland Centre in the Glen and will run until around 3:30pm. All safety and litter picking equipment provided, together with refreshments and lunch. Under 18s need to be accompanied by an adult. Although you can just turn up, it helps the organisers if you could let them know if

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Posted in Nature

Dog walkers urged to take care around lambs

With lambing season well underway, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Ramblers Scotland and land management organisations, Scottish Land & Estates and NFU Scotland, are asking dog walkers to be aware of vulnerable young lambs when they're out walking over the Easter holiday weekend. At this time of year, dogs chasing sheep are a particular danger to pregnant ewes and lambs. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code has the following advice for dog walkers: – Don’t take your dog into a field where there are lambs – or calves or other young animals. Walk through a neighbouring field or in the land next

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Posted in Access issues, News

A skye full of eagles

As a nature enthusiast I'm on the lookout for wildlife on any walk I take but I never go expecting to see anything in particular. Hoping, perhaps, but not expecting. Imagine my delight, therefore, when a recent walking holiday on the Isle of Skye unexpectedly turned into something of an eagle safari regardless of where I went or what I was doing. Scotland has two species of eagle, the golden and the white-tailed (or ‘sea’ eagle), and both threw themselves at me from every direction. Literally so during a visit to Duirinish when, after I’d spent two hours dozing motionless

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

John Muir Way officially opens this Easter

A festival of events celebrating the life of conservationist John Muir kicks off today (Thurs 17 April) and will include the official opening of the new long distance walking route the John Muir Way on Easter Monday. The new trail which runs between Helensburgh and Dunbar and echoes John Muir’s own personal journey growing up in the east coast town of Dunbar before travelling to the west coast of Scotland where he set sail for life in America. Although John Muir left Scotland at the age of 11, it was here that his love of nature was developed. He was

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Posted in Access issues, News, Walkhighlands 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.