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Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Season of the Witch

All Hallows Eve is almost upon us, so it’s time for another seasonal excursion into Scottish mythology. David Lintern braves the cold, twice. Right at the very end of Glen Lyon, there’s a little shrine called the Tigh Nam Bodach, meaning the house of the father, or old man. And before we go any further, the name Lyon is reckoned to be a corruption of Lugdunum, after Lugh, the Celtic sun god, a character significant in the first chapter in this story, linked at the foot of the page. But we’ve heard enough from the men. Today it’s the turn

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Steall Path reopens Saturday 29 October

Steall Path in Glen Nevis will reopen on Saturday 29 October following a major landslide. The most dangerous loose rock and trees above Steall path have been cleared or stabilised and the path will be open again from Saturday 29th October. The John Muir Trust now have a path team on the ground until 18 November repairing the damage to the path. The Trust says that there may be short delays as and when the path team are moving or positioning rocks and asks walkers to follow all safety instructions and the advice of the path team.

Posted in Access issues, News

Report finds slow growth for red kites in Northern Scotland

Reintroduced red kite numbers are on the rise throughout much of Scotland, with at least 283 pairs in 2015, but a new Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) report has found the population in the North Scotland continues to grow more slowly than other reintroduced populations. The report updates earlier work and suggests that illegal killing is still considered to be the main reason red kite numbers are not higher in North Scotland. The report, commissioned by SNH and carried out by RSPB’s Centre for Conservation Science, found that, although not at risk of decline, the red kite population in North Scotland

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Posted in Nature

Mike Tomkies – An Appreciation

I WAS saddened to hear of the death of the wildlife writer and naturalist Mike Tomkies, a man who penned some of the most riveting accounts of living in the natural world alongside golden eagles, wildcats and pine martens. He was a man who more or less shunned society so that he could live as close to his wild subjects as possible. Mike had been the Hollywood correspondent of The Times and had interviewed and befriended cinema personalities like Ava Gardner, John Wayne, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Peter O’Toole and Sean Connery but the showbiz life eventually soured and he

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Peebles call for adventure filmakers

Following the success of its 2016 Outdoor Shorts competition in January, which saw a record number of entrants, the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival is once again inviting short film submissions for its 2017 festival competition. Ahead of the next festival (27-29 January 2017), film-makers of all ages are invited to submit outdoor-themed films, either documentary or fictional work, of no more than five minutes duration that demonstrate creativity, originality and story-telling skill. Films can detail a particular adventure, journey, sport, personal experience, or be a portrait of a particular person or place. All must capture the magic and natural beauty

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Posted in Uncategorized

Trust concerned as Scottish Government approves first wind turbines on wild land

The John Muir Trust has expressed concern over today’s decision by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse to consent the application for the Creag Riabhach wind farm at Altnaharra estate near Lairg in Sutherland. The development will mean the construction of 22 turbines, up to 125 metres high – roughly the height of Scotland’s tallest structure, the Glasgow Tower – in north west Sutherland. Five of the turbines will fall within the boundary of Wild Land Area 37 (Foinaven-Ben Hee). Stuart Brooks, Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust said: “Naturally, we are very disappointed and concerned. This is the first such

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Posted in Nature

Our picks: Autumn Scotland

It’s autumn, and the glens are quiet – or would be, were it not for the roaring stags. The leaves are turning and the midges are gone; is there a better time to get out and about in Scotland’s countryside? Rogie Falls – not far north from Inverness – is a stunning place for autumn colours. Many people think of Scotland as being clothed by evergreens, but the red, amber and golden leaves of autumn trees show up even better against a backdrop of Scots pine. The falls make an ever better walk from nearby Contin. A great location to

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

The State of Nature and the Sixth Great Extinction

On 14th September the national TV stations, airwaves and social media were buzzing, obsessed with just one massive headline. The story had broken two days earlier but every subsequent day brought new earth-shaking revelations that required still more analysis and discussion as to the potential impacts on the nation. This was, after all, something major and something serious, something that affected millions of people. Yep, a weekly marquee-based show about cakes was moving from BBC1 to Channel 4!! <faints> Little else got a look-in that week. Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address got a passing glance, as did the

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Paddling the Scottish Everglades

David Lintern makes an amphibious journey to the wild woods of Knapdale, on the trail of a real amphibian – the Eurasian beaver. We arrived late and set up our not so stealthy camp in the dark, a little too close to the single-track road. No matter, we’d be gone early in the morning. The waters of Caol Scotnish were absolutely flat calm, and to our surprise given the lack of a breeze, there was only a solitary midge, looking a little lost and lazy. We made a late night brew and stayed up for a while, enjoying the tranquillity.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Steall Gorge footpath to remain closed till end October

Following a significant rockfall at Steall Gorge in Glen Nevis in mid-September, the popular path leading to Steall Falls will remain closed until the end of October. Fort William based Thistle Access will start work on Monday 10 October to remove remaining rock and tree debris from the slopes above the footpath. They will assess the area before securing or removing any unstable objects. The path will be closed for the duration of this work until 30 October. The Trust has updated signage in the local area warning of the increased danger of debris falling onto the path while these

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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.