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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Mother Nature’s Recipes

I chose the autumn equinox when everything is held in balance; when light and dark are of equal length. I thought of this walk as a deep breath before the winter: a good time to look back, then accept the receding light and look forward without foreboding. Walking the track upstream along the Almond from Newton Bridge, I was at first between some of my familiar, round Perthshire hills, climbing gradually west towards Loch Tay. But then at the head of the valley I planned to leave familiar territory and turn south over the westerly flanks of Ben Chonzie to

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Rannoch wind farm plans thrown out

Mountaineers and wild land campaigners are delighted to hear that a threat to build a wind farm on the edges of Rannoch Moor has been thrown out. The application to build the Talladh-a-bheithe wind farm, which would have seen 24 giant wind turbines, together with bulldozed access tracks, buildings and infrastructure, on an area of raised moorland between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht, has been ruled ‘not competent’ by Scottish Ministers. A letter issued by the Scottish Government’s Energy and Climate Change Directorate noted that the application was received on 23 June 2014, but that the applicant, Talladh-A-Bheithe Wind Farm

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Posted in Nature, News

Beauly-Denny access road planning application branded “utter disgrace”

The Highland Council has been strongly urged to reject a bid by Culachy Estate to overturn planning conditions on a section of the controversial Beauly-Denny power line. The estate, near Fort Augustus, has sought permission to make permanent nearly 8 kilometres of temporary access track and two bridges, running almost parallel to the famous Wade Military Road through the Corrieyairack Pass in the Monadhliath. The track is part of the access road for construction of the power line, given approval after a long battle between developers Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission Limited (part of SSE) and conservationists, and only granted permission on the condition

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Posted in Nature, News

The Strange Case of the Disappearing Cottage

A few months ago I wrote about some of the more curious occurrences I’ve come across in the hills of Scotland. One of those stories mentioned Donald Watt, the erstwhile leader of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, and a strange experience he had near Loch Mullardoch. As he descended the hill he and his companion apparently saw a house with smoke coming from the chimney. As they approached the house the view of it was hidden by a copse of trees, but when they passed the trees they were astonished to see a crumpled ruin, where a few minutes earlier they

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Cheaper ferry fares for Clyde and Inner Hebrides

Lower cost ferry fares are being rolled out today on the remaining routes in the Clyde and Hebrides ferry network. The road equivalent tariff (RET) was first introduced for non-commercial vehicles and passengers for routes to the Outer Hebrides, Coll and Tiree in 2008. The cheaper fares have since been expanded to include Islay, Colonsay and Gigha. Today (Mon 26 October) the remaining 14 routes in the Clyde and Hebrides network will join RET with the Scottish Government estimating that car fares reduce by an average of 55% and passenger fares by 44%. The reduced fares introduced today are on

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Posted in Uncategorized

Deer collision warning as clocks go back

As the clocks turn back this weekend, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is warning motorists that collisions between deer and vehicles peak at this time of year. With night falling earlier, the peak commuting time coincides with deer coming out to feed on grass verges near roadsides. Because of this, SNH, in conjunction with Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland, are placing warning messages on electronic variable messaging signs. From the evening of Sunday, 25 October to Monday, 16 November, the signs will warn motorists at key locations on the main trunk roads across West and Northwest Scotland. These messages will be

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Posted in News

Our pick: Scotland’s hilltop monuments

Earlier in the year we featured our pick from Scotland’s best wee hills. But apart from the promise of a view, little attracts people more to climb a smaller hill than the chance to visit a hilltop monument. Built to become local landmarks, these follies, memorials and towers appear in many forms, and scattered all around the country. They form the subject of our latest gallery. Fyrish Monument, Easter Ross The striking monument on Cnoc Fyrish above the Cromarty Firth is a familiar sight to travellers on this part of the A9. Close up it is even more impressive than

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

Celebrations mark 50th birthday of Bothy association

The founder of the Mountain Bothies Association, Bernard Heath and his wife Betty, also an early MBA member, led the Association’s 50th year celebrations at Newtonmore on Saturday by cutting an anniversary cake. Bernard and Betty commented:”We are both thrilled and greatly honoured to cut the cake, we can’t believe such an ocean of time has gone by since that so well remembered inaugural meeting in Dalmellington in 1965. We wondered then where the MBA would go and are so pleased that it has thrived. We hope that it goes on for ever.” The MBA is a charity and has

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Posted in News

David Balharry to head Rewilding Britain in Scotland

Rewilding Britain has announced that David Balharry will join as Scotland Director on 2 November 2015. The environmental charity launched in July 2015 and campaigns to restore nature and reintroduce missing species. David joins from the Scottish Government, where he is currently a branch head in the agriculture and rural development division working on rural policy issues. David grew up in rural Scotland and his career includes two years in the private sector promoting sustainable management on sporting estates and over 20 years in the public sector. He has held roles in research, administration, policy development and regulation with Scottish

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Posted in Nature

UK Landscape Photographer of the Year winners announced

A photograph of the Dorset coastline has taken the top prize in this year’s search for the UK’s ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’. The locally-based photographer, Andy Farrer becomes the ninth person to win the overall title and the £10,000 prize. His picture was chosen, by the judges, from the thousands of entries that showcase the richly diverse landscape of the UK. A shot of Glen Coe by Damien Shields took the The Sunday Times Magazine’s Choice award. From light dappled water and mist-filled forests to extreme climbing and mountain biking within our most challenging landscapes, the winning photographs in

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Posted in Magazine, Photography


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