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Monthly Archives: November 2014

BBC to showcase classic Cairngorms book

A forgotten literary masterpiece celebrating the majesty of the Cairngorm mountains will be the subject of a new documentary presented by travel writer Robert MacFarlane. The Living Mountain – A Cairngorms Journey will be shown on BBC2 Scotland on Tuesday 2 December at 10pm and will be available more widely on the BBC iPlayer shortly afterwards. The Living Mountain, written by Scottish poet and novelist Nan Shepherd in the 1940s, recounts her experience of walking in the Cairngorms during the early years of the Second World War. When Robert MacFarlane first discovered it he found it to be one of

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Posted in Nature, News

Wild land conservation – taking a new tack

“CELEBRATING achievement in Scottish conservation.” That’s what the recent RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards are all about, but please excuse my obvious cynicism when I ask the obvious question – what achievements? Now it may be that someone has done a fantastic job in protecting some Natterjack toads, or perhaps a school group somewhere has built a really impressive bug-house in the playground. That’s all great, and I’m all for protecting Natterjack toads, but what’s been done to halt the current swathes of high-level bulldozed tracks that are appearing all over the highlands; who is sorting out the access problems

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Walkers advised over emergency calls in the mountains

With winter weather really starting to bite now in Scotland’s mountains, climbers and walkers are being advised of the best way to get help in the event of an accident. Because mountains and remote areas are beyond the road network and the reach of the ambulance service, any emergency call must be to Mountain Rescue. Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Advisor for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland said: “No-one likes to think it will be them who gets into difficulties in the mountains, but sadly people do, for all sorts of reasons, and on average each year Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams

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Posted in News

Double win for Perthshire writer

Perthshire writer Alan Laing has won not one but two prizes in a mountain writing competition. Alan, of Main Street, Balbeggie, has taken second prize in the prose section and third in the poetry section of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland’s Mountain Writing Competition 2014. And he’s no stranger to the competition either, for in 2013 he took third prize in the prose section. This year the judges praised his ‘Death and Life on the Mountain’ – an “imaginative exploration of the life of a mountain” which starts with the scattering of ashes on a Scottish hill. His poem, ‘Land

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Posted in Uncategorized

Our pick – 16 Scottish Lighthouse walks

Walkhighlands features 43 walks that visit one of Scotland’s remarkable collection of lighthouses. Taking all manner of shapes and sizes, these sentinels of the sea usually provide striking landmarks for those exploring on foot, as well as acting as a warning to boats out on the water. Here we pick out 16 of the finest. Rattray Head, Aberdeenshire Rising splendidly off the Aberdeenshire seaboard on a stone plinth, Rattray Head is a striking sight from the magnificent beaches between Peterhead and Fraserburgh. Like almost all Scottish lighthouses, it was built by the Stevenson family – in this case by David Stevenson

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

It’s the people you meet

I spend a lot of my time outdoors alone, and I wouldn’t want to change that. I value the solitude, even the loneliness when it comes, it allows me to process some of the flotsam and jetsam I don’t pay enough attention to ordinarily. It also allows room for personal challenges – changing what’s achievable on my own terms. But after I met a few more like minded reprobates on a Mountaineering Council of Scotland course recently, I was prompted to think about all the people I’ve met through hillwalking, and what a huge difference they’ve made. The hills have

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Posted in Features, Magazine

National Trust for Scotland backs Stronelairg legal challenge

Scotland’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland, is urging its members to support a legal challenge being made against the Scottish Government. The NTS is contacting its 320,000 members to ask them to lend support to the John Muir Trust’s campaign to have a decision by the Government to allow a city-sized wind farm to be constructed in the Highlands quashed – a decision that was made in the face of objections from the Government’s own advisors. The John Muir Trust (JMT) is taking its case to the Court of Session in early 2015 with the objective of

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Posted in Nature

Beaver Trial successful say scientific reports

Six reports looking at the trial reintroduction of beavers at Knapdale in Argyll have been published showing generally positive effects of the trial including increased visitors to the area and manageable effects on other plants and wildlife. The reports will be used to prepare evidence to help the Scottish Government decide whether to permanently introduce beavers to Scotland. The reports consider the health of the beavers and their effect on aquatic plants, woodland, scheduled monuments and public health as well as the socio-economic costs and benefits of the trial. They set out the findings over the five years the Scottish

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Posted in Nature

St John charity to fund mountaineering club safety initiative

The charity St John Scotland and the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) have announced a joint initiative which will provide mountaineering instruction to university mountaineering clubs during the winter season 2015-16. St John Scotland will fund a qualified mountaineering instructor who will work directly with student clubs; instruction will be provided throughout club meets using climbers’ huts as their base, and potentially cover a range of activities including navigation, use of equipment, and techniques for safe passage in winter conditions. Commenting, David Gibson, Chief Officer of the MCofS said: “University mountaineering clubs can be a great way of introducing young

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Posted in News

Crack down on illegal pearl fishers

A scheme is being launched in the Lochinver area of West Sutherland in a bid to crack down on recent illegal pearl fishing. Investigators in the Riverwatch initiative, part of the LIFE + Pearls in Peril Project, have found three incidents of illegal pearl fishing recently in different rivers in West Sutherland. Pearl fishing is an extremely destructive process that devastates populations of vulnerable pearl mussels. The critically endangered mussels are long-lived and vulnerable to illegal acts of fishing. They have a fascinating life cycle, and their presence in water means it is of a high standard and therefore likely

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Posted in Nature


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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.