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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Our pick: Standing Stones and circles

Scotland’s first settlers arrived over 10,000 years ago, and even today there are incredible monuments to the peoples of long ago. Burial cairns, brochs, hut circles and other remains are abundant across much of the mainland and islands, but it is standing stones that perhaps draw the strongest reactions from visitors. For standing stones and circles the mystery is often around their purpose – something that has been subject to speculation by archaeologists for many years. Here’s a few of Scotland’s finest: Callanish, Isle of Lewis One of the most spectacular and celebrated monuments in the country, Callanish – set

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

Walking Man – the story of Colin Fletcher

AN American backpacker, Dr Robert Wehrman, has written a definite biography of Colin Fletcher, a Welsh/American whose works have inspired legions of backpackers across the globe, including Chris Townsend and myself. Indeed Chris and I have probably spent hours hiking and discussing what we know about Fletcher, or more pertinently, what we don’t know about Fletcher, for he was an extremely private person and it would seem there is plenty we don’t know. But what we don’t know, Bob Wehrman does. Wehrman has been looking for some financial help in publishing the biography and initially set up a Kickstarter fund,

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Two more red kites illegally killed in Highlands

Two more red kites have been confirmed by Scottish Government testing to have been illegally killed in north Scotland. Both of these incidents took place in 2014 and are now being made public as the Police have concluded their enquiries. The first victim was found last June near Beauly, and was subsequently confirmed by post-mortem, at the SAC Veterinary laboratory in Inverness, to have been shot. The second red kite was found in September 2014, some 5 kilometres south-east of Cawdor village in Nairnshire. It was confirmed by Scottish Government testing to have been illegally poisoned with a banned pesticide.

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Posted in Nature

Mountain Bothy Association reports on busy year

The Mountain Bothy Association – a charity through which volunteers maintain open shelters in Britain’s remoter areas – has published its Annual Report and Accounts. The report shows that during 2014 its volunteers contributed over 1,152 working days carry out work on 59 bothies, and spent over £44,000 on maintenance. The Association took over responsibility for one new bothy during the year – Dubs Hut in the English Lake District- and closed another- Culra in central Scotland (due to problems with asbestos). They also agreed to renovate bothies at Flittingford in the Kielder Forest and at Cae Amos in north

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Posted in News

Walkers urged to check for deer stalking info as season under way

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has launched a revamped version of the Heading for the Scottish Hills service, which allows walkers to check ahead for possible deer stalking taking place on estates. This helps reduce the chance of disturbing stag stalking during the peak season from late summer to 20th October. The new service covers more hills and is now accessible from mobiles and tablets. The information – which has also been built into each of the relevant Walkhighlands route descriptions for the 2015 season, as well as pdfs on the Heading for the Scottish Hills website – includes details on

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Posted in Access issues

Adapting to change

It’s hard to countenance, coming down from a wander in the hills, that things haven’t always been like this, that the great outdoors is not just a source of peace and quiet for humans, but also contested ground for plants and animals – the site of competing interests and debate. The hills are so unchanging. Aren’t they? But as I return to my fossil fuelled technology, my newsfeeds tell a different story. Our environment is changing, fast, and not for the better. Is the threat to wildlife and habitats accelerating; are we responsible for a sixth ‘mass extinction event’? A

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Glen Coe Skyline race ‘unlikely to inconvenience hillwalkers’

This Saturday (22nd August) will see the Salomon Skyline race held in Glencoe. One of six races in the 2015 Skyrunning UK calendar, the ‘SGCS’ has been one of the most anticipated races in the UK in recent years. Shane Ohly from Ourea Events and course planner Gary Tompsett have come up with a very difficult route, that has turned the heads of not only the running world but also the media, with plans for the race attracting some controversy. The race begins up Curved Ridge, a grade 3 scramble on Buachaille Etive Mor, before dropping down to the Lairig

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

The hypnotic beauty of cottongrass

Bogs are hard to love. Indeed, if you hear the word ‘bog’ then what might spring to mind, other than the lavatory, is something that grips your boot and refuses to let it go as you step away. Or perhaps you instantly picture a place that is difficult to navigate through on a compass bearing because you can rarely walk in a straight line. Or perhaps, if you’ve ever been unlucky enough to actually fall into a bog, you imagine something that is very smelly indeed. Faced with such bad press it’s not surprising that bogs can be viewed rather

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Chris Packham to kick off Spirit of John Muir events

Naturalist, photographer and television presenter Chris Packham is the inaugral speaker for a series of events called the Spirit of John Muir which will kick off with a talk in London on 9 September. The events invite speakers to bring to life the legacy of John Muir – the naturalist, writer, adventurer, explorer and campaigner. Chris Packham will talk about his passion for nature and his vision of how the natural world should best be protected and managed including his views on ‘rewilding’: an approach to restoring ecosystems for people and nature. The evening talk will be held at the

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Posted in Nature

Work starts on John Muir Way Kilpatrick Hills section

Three bridges and 500 tonnes of other path materials are being airlifted on to the Kilpatrick Hills by helicopter to complete a new five mile section of the John Muir Way. Partners, sportscotland, Legacy 2014 Active Places, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Forest Enterprise Scotland have funded the £500,000 project to provide an upland experience to the 134 mile coast to coast route from Helensburgh to Dunbar. Due to be completed in October, the new section of the path will provide a scenic alternative to the Balloch to Strathblane section of the John Muir Way, which currently runs on a

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Posted in Access issues, 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.