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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Munros not worth dying for say mountain safety experts

As Easter weekend approaches, mountain safety experts are appealing to people to stay away from the high mountains unless they are properly equipped and experienced. The Easter weekend is traditionally a busy time in Scotland’s mountains, with thousands of enthusiastic hill walkers making their first visit to the mountains since the end of winter. However an early date for Easter and continued wintry conditions in the mountains – fresh snow has still been building up this week – has left some mountain rescuers with serious safety concerns for the weekend ahead. Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Adviser for the Mountaineering Council

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Posted in News

Make 2015 the Outdoors Election say mountaineers

As the general election draws closer, Britain’s mountaineering councils are issuing a unified call to protect and support the countryside and people’s access to it. Ahead of 7 May, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) are challenging politicians to recognise the huge value of outdoor recreation in their manifestos and policies, while also understanding the need to protect the special qualities of the outdoors for the benefit of all. The two councils together cover England, Wales and Scotland and represent 90,000 members. Both organisations are campaigning for greater protection for our natural landscapes and

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Posted in Access issues, News

Book review: The Grahams & The Donalds

Climbing the Munros has long been a mainstream activity for hillwalkers, and many also aim to climb the Corbetts (Scottish peaks from 2500 to 3000 feet high), either after completing the Munros, or at the same time. Whilst a too-keen obsession with bagging hills can blind us to the other joys that going to the mountains can bring, there seems little doubt that for many people having a list of hills to complete is a way of linking many brief days out into a single, bigger, satisfying adventure. The Grahams (peaks from 2000 to 2500 feet), though, have been the

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews, Magazine

Wild land – where are the supporters?

ALLOW me to spout some numbers if you will. Between March 2013 and February 2014, according to Scottish Natural Heritage, 82% of adults in Scotland visited the outdoors for leisure or recreation, taking an estimated 396 million outdoor visits. That’s a massive figure but many of those people may have been taking their dog for a wee walk or enjoying a countryside picnic so let’s tighten up the numbers a bit. About 7% of those people visited hills and mountains, so that works out at about 27.7 million visits. It’s notoriously difficult to get up to date and accurate information

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

More National Parks would boost Scotland’s rural economy

Creating more National Parks could be a cost-effective way to provide a major economic boost to a number of fragile rural areas in Scotland, according to the latest joint research report published by two charities, the Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) and The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS). They claim that designating more National Parks in areas such as southern Scotland (eg the Cheviots or Galloway) or north-west Scotland (eg Harris or Wester Ross) could generate millions of pounds in extra revenue annually from tourism and other rural industries. They point to the success of rural

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Community Buyout planned for Great Bernera

Residents of Great and Little Bernera, islands off the shores of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, have voted in favour of a community buyout of the island. Last week 142 people voted in favour of the plan and 37 against with a turnout of 85%. The island had been owned by Count Robin Mirrlees who owned died last June. He had lived on Great Bernera for 40 years and following his death his family gave residents and crofters first refusal on buying it. Connected to Lewis via a road bridge, the buyout would cover 5,000 acres across both islands, including

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Posted in Uncategorized

Body found in search for missing Daniel Bennett

Police Scotland have reported that teams searching for missing hillwalker Daniel Bennett have recovered a body. Mr Bennet, 43, a software developer at the Centre of Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University, was last seen on Saturday, March 21, just before midday in Tyndrum and was thought to have been planning to go hillwalking. On Tuesday evening, a spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police and their partners in Forth Valley Division searching for Daniel Bennett have recovered a man’s body. “A large-scale search operation involving Police Scotland, Killin Mountain Rescue Team, Lomond Mountain Rescue Team, Tayside Mountain Rescue Team, Arrochar

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Posted in News

Police appeal to find missing Tyndrum walker

Police are appealing for information to help trace a 43-year-old man reported missing. Daniel Bennett was last seen in the Green Welly Stop, Tyndrum, just before midday on Saturday 21 March and was believed to be walking in the hills in and around this area. He has not made contact with family or friends since then and Police are increasingly concerned. Daniel has short brown hair, blue eyes and is 5ft 8inches tall. It is likely that he is carrying a grey and green rucksack with him. Chief Inspector Lynn Ratcliff said: “Daniel is an experienced hill walker and is

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Posted in News

Water Walker – a landlubber’s guide to packrafting

A few weeks ago, Walkhighlands kindly reported on a little adventure a friend and I are doing in May. The plan is to walk and paddle across Scotland including the nine highest mountains – the 4,000 footers – using inflatable dinghy’s called ‘packrafts’. This might well sound a little insane, so it might be time to explain a bit more about these vessels, and the advantages they have for self-powered travel in the highlands. Modern packrafting was borne in Alaska, used by backcountry travellers and hunters, although previous incarnations of these cute little boats pop up in Australian outback travel

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Mountaineers challenge party leaders ahead of election

As the General Election draws closer, party leaders at Westminster and Holyrood have been challenged to say where they stand on the protection of Scotland’s mountains and wild land. Thousands of people have already signed a petition calling for protection for these nationally important assets to be strengthened. Now the Mountaineering Council of Scotland is asking party leaders to state their position and help people to decide which way to vote. A month ago the MCofS, which represents mountaineers, climbers and hill walkers, published and sent to MPs for Scottish seats and MSPs its vision for the future of mountains

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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.