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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Wild Land and why it should have proper protection

WILD land. We all love it and want to defend it, but what exactly is it in a political and planning sense? How can it be defined? For years I celebrated ‘wilderness’, and I habitually used the term in a rather loose fashion before I came to realise that I was using the word as an adjective rather than a noun, an adjective that described a quality which produced a particular mood or emotion in me whenever I came face to face with a particular kind of landscape. Since time immemorial the word ‘wilderness’ has been symbolic of a landscape

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

New vision offers a positive future for Scotland’s mountains

Scotland’s decision makers have been challenged to support a new vision for the future of the country’s mountains and wild land – a major resource increasingly under threat. And the public are being asked to add their weight to the call, by signing an online petition demanding that designated areas of wild land are protected from large scale development. Scotland’s decision makers have been challenged to support a new vision for the future of the country’s mountains and wild land – a major resource increasingly under threat. And the public are being asked to add their weight to the call,

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Posted in Access issues, Nature

Mountaineers urge councillors to reject wind farm near Glen Affric

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) is urging elected members of the Highland Council South Planning Applications Committee to refuse consent for the Beinn Mhor wind farm on the edge of the world-famous landscape of Glen Affric. Mountaineers objected to the proposals to build the wind farm – which would consist of six turbines each almost 400 feet high – on the slopes of Beinn Mhor, near Tomich, just south of the iconic glen. Elected members of the South Planning Applications Committee and officials from Highland Council will visit the site of the proposed wind farm on Monday 23 February,

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Posted in Nature

Hypothermia warning as temperatures set to plummet

As temperatures in Scotland are set to return to full winter lows this weekend and into next week, safety experts have warned that even modern technical clothing is not proof against the dangers of hypothermia. Hypothermia, when body temperature is lowered to dangerous levels, can occur all too easily in the mountains and it is essential that climbers and walkers know how to avoid it and recognise it when they see the signs. Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Advisor with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, said: “A common misconception amongst hill goers is that modern clothing is so good that hypothermia

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Posted in News

Music on the Bogland Rock: Creag Meagaidh

David Lintern discovers the woody magic of Creag Meagaidh, a conservation success story. Mooching around in the gloaming, seeking a good pitch. I crossed the burn, up to my shins, surprisingly cold, fast and flowing hard. Widely spaced birch and thigh high grasses looked enticing from a distance, but the earth was sodden. Reluctantly, I turned around and crossed back. Reaching the bank, something made me freeze and look up from placing my poles carefully as I exited the riverbed. Climbing a steep hummock into the undergrowth and therefore seen from above, an animal the size and shape of a

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Police release video of masked gunmen attacking goshawk nest in Cairngorms National Park

Police Scotland and the RSPB have appealed for help identifying wildlife criminals, after releasing video footage of masked gunmen appearing to repeatedly attack a goshawk nest in the Cairngorms National Park. In May 2014, a video camera deployed by RSPB Scotland staff to monitor a goshawk nest at Glenochty, Strathdon, on land owned by Forestry Commission Scotland captured footage revealing a group of men repeatedly visiting the area in what appears to be an attempt to kill the birds and destroy the nest. The goshawk is a specially protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is

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Posted in Nature

Coast to coast over the 4000′ summits – by packraft

Walkhighlands’ columnist David Lintern and his friend David Hine are planning to walk and paddle from coast to coast, visiting the nine tallest mountains in the UK on the way, in aid of outdoor learning. They are calling the challenge C2C4K – coast to coast over the 4,000ft summits. The two Davids will begin from the most westerly point of the UK, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, paddle lochs and rivers, camp on islands and climb the nine highest mountains in the country before finishing at Spey Bay. They plan to use portable, inflatable boats – packrafts – and will take

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Posted in Nature, News, Walkhighlands news

Scottish Golden Eagles to be surveyed

The number of Golden Eagles in Scotland is to surveyed to check how its population is doing. This is the fourth survey of its kind to be undertaken and is being funded Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and RSPB Scotland. Licensed surveyors from the RSPB and the Scottish Raptor Study Group will spend six months recording the number of these majestic birds. All of the golden eagles in Great Britain are found in Scotland except for a solitary male in the Lake District. Much of the population is in the west Highlands and islands of Scotland. Long term monitoring has shown

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Posted in Nature

Petition calls for more Scottish National Parks

A petition has been launched today urging the Scottish Government to create more National Parks in Scotland. The petition, which has been organised by two Scottish charities, the Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) and The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS), calls for at least one Coastal and Marine National Park. The petition is open for signature until 13 March on the Scottish Parliament’s website. John Mayhew, Director of APRS, said: “Scotland’s landscapes rank amongst the best in the world, but we only have two National Parks, the highest national accolade which can be given to any

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Posted in Nature

Red Kites in Scotland

It’s a cold, bright winter’s day and I’m sitting in a wooden hide. As I look through an open hatch the sun is warm on my face. Outside the hide, in an adjacent field, is a small pile of raw meat that our guide has dumped onto the ground from a bucket. I’m staring intently at it but every now and then I glance upwards, scanning the sky. It’s about as unlikely a prelude to a spectacular wildlife display as you could imagine, but something quite wonderful is about to happen and there’s a very real sense of anticipation and

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature


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