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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Helicopter warning for Sligachan footpath repair

Walkers are being warned that, weather permitting, helicopter lifts will take in place in Glen Sligachan on Skye. on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September as part of the John Muir Trust’s ongoing programme of path repairs. Following the first phase of restoration work on the Druim Hain path that was carried out last winter, phase two starts in September. It includes further work on the Druim Hain path from Glen Sligachan to Loch Coruisk, plus pre-emptive work on Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach where the steep path is in danger of becoming badly eroded. The helicopter lift will bring stone into

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Colin Fletcher, an inspiration or a fallen hero?

I generally don’t do much in the way of hero-worship, at least not since I was a teenager. In 1964 a 22 year old Welsh athlete by the name of Lynn Davies won the Olympic Games long jump event in Tokyo, an achievement that gripped my imagination. I decided there and then I would be a long jumper too and I wrote a long letter to the Welshman, congratulating him on his success and, rather naively, asked him for some tips! Much to my surprise Lynn replied to my letter, the beginning of a correspondence that lasted for years. Some

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Street Play in Edinburgh

For over four years in the early 1990s, when I lived near Stirling and travelled to work by train, I walked a short distance through the convulsions of Edinburgh’s Old Town from Waverley Station to a small close off the Canongate. I don’t need to labour the magic of Edinburgh as a city to explore on foot, including as it does a volcano to climb, wheeling gulls and views to the Forth, and a National library housing eight acres of books in storeys climbing between two streets stacked one above the other. In some cities ‘enchantment engineers’ design temporary illusions

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Report shows Scotland’s seal numbers rise

Harbour seal numbers around Scotland’s coast have increased over the last five years following years of decline, according to survey results published today by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). However, the latest counts continue to show a clear east – west divide in fortunes for the protected species. Scotland-wide August seal surveys are carried out over an approximate five-year cycle on behalf of SNH by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews. The latest report presents results of 2015 surveys carried out in Shetland, the Moray Firth, the Firth of Tay and on Scotland’s southern coasts,

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Posted in Nature

Hillwalkers urged to check stalking information

Hillwalkers are once again being urged to check for possible deer stalking taking place on estates before heading out to the hills. With the stag stalking season underway up until 20th October, this helps reduce the chance of disturbing stag stalking during the peak season. The information has been built into each of the relevant Walkhighlands route descriptions for the 2016 season, as well as pdfs on the Heading for the Scottish Hills website – includes details on stalking on all participating estates and contact details for further information. Also included are any routes that are “always okay” and general

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine

The Snowman’s return: stepping back in time to 1899

Last week I found myself accompanying fellow lifelong snow enthusiast Iain Cameron to Creag Meagaidh for a second time. Our first visit (and indeed our first meeting) had been back in October 2014 when we headed to Raeburn’s Gully, high up in Coire Ardair in search of an unusually long-lasting patch of snow. That encounter inspired me to write an article…

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Mark Avery: The Inglorious 12th

With the grouse shooting season upon us once more, environmental campaigner Dr Mark Avery asks for support from walkers. We all head into the hills to get away from it all, to refresh our souls and to get back to nature. But the hills of much of east and south Scotland and the north of England, even in National Parks such as the Cairngorms National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, are landscapes subjugated to the interests of one narrow land use: intensive grouse shooting. Concern, alarm and anger are growing over grouse shooting, and there are things that

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

UK’s smallest butterfly boosted by Ayrshire golf courses

Habitat for the UK’s smallest butterfly is expanding along the Ayrshire coast thanks to a project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust in partnership with Butterfly Conservation Scotland and local links golf courses. The small blue butterfly had been completely absent from Ayrshire since the 1980s. The species bred successfully for the third year in a row on the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Gailes Marsh reserve and neighbouring Dundonald Links this summer after work to create large areas of kidney vetch (the butterfly’s only food plant), and a carefully managed translocation in 2013. Greenkeepers on a number of links courses south

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Posted in Nature

Short film: Isolation

I S O L A T I O N is a short film about a character who abandons societies predictability in a bid to uncover the secrets buried within the mysterious and dramatic landscape of the Scottish Highlands. Directed by : Mathieu Bernat & David Guersan Sound : Arthaud Versaveaud Starring : Jamie Farquarshon Music : «Night Sky» – Tracey Chattaway «A Three-Legged Workhorse» – This Will Destroy You Shot in the Scottish Highlands.

Posted in Features, Photography

A remarkable walk: Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail

David Lintern is woo’ed by the Beinn Eighe woodlands. This visit to Coille na Glas Letire – ‘the wood of the grey slope’ – was something of a pilgrimage for me; it’s where British Conservation stopped being theoretical and became physical. In 1951, Beinn Eighe and its surrounds became the UK’s first National Nature Reserve. At the start, there was much disagreement and debate about how best to care for the rare and beautiful fragment of Alpine rainforest that sits between Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree – after all, there was no precedent. Over the decades since, a range of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, 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.