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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Spooky bothy tale wins mountain writing prize

An annual competition to find the best of Scottish mountain writing has once more shown the depth of talent to be found among those who love mountains. In Mountaineering Scotland’s 2016 Mountain Writing Competition, eight top class stories and poems were picked out by judges, with winners spread across the country from east to west. This year was also a first, in having one of the winning poems written in both Gaelic and English. Mountain bothies featured strongly in the prose entries, with three out of the four prize winners taking very different approaches to the same subject. First prize

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Posted in Uncategorized

Beavers are back for good

The Scottish Government has announced today that the Eurasian beaver is to be formally recognised as a native species, 400 years after being hunted to extinction in the UK. The two lead partners in the Scottish Beaver Trial – the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust – have warmly welcomed the decision. Returning beavers to Scotland’s lochs and rivers is the first formal mammal reintroduction in UK history. Today’s announcement is a major success story for conservation, and the culmination of nearly two decades’ work, said the two partners, adding that they are delighted to

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Posted in Magazine, Nature

He Chose to Climb

Cameron McNeish admits to having been hugely inspired by Sir Chris Bonington’s early failures, rather than his successes. IT was a long time ago and I was lurching between jobs, unsure of my future and dreading the thought of suffering some corporate nine-to-five regime for the next 40 years. The only things I really wanted to do were to climb mountains and explore wild places and at that relatively youthful stage in my life I couldn’t think of a career that would enable me to do that. At 24 I was married with a young son and I didn’t have

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Mountaineers urged to prepare for the winter hills

As snow and freezing conditions provide a winter playground for thousands of hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers, Mountaineering Scotland (formerly the MCofS) is reminding everyone to plan for the challenges of winter when preparing a trip to the Scottish hills. The organisation say an examination of the fatal accident statistics for the last year shows it isn’t just novices getting into difficulties. Sadly, 20 people have lost their lives so far in the mountains this year. Ten of these were either approaching, or on, a technical climb. Three died as a result of avalanche. Three of the others who died had

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Posted in News

Win one of three 60 litre Mammut Cargon holdalls

We have three 60 litre Mammut Cargons to win in this exclusive Walkhighlands competition. Simply answer the question: In which European country are Mammut based? Product Details The Mammut Cargon is a heavy duty holdall perfect for expedition and travel use. Available in sizes from a weekend-away 40 litres through to a whopping 140 litres, there is a Cargon for whatever trip you have planned. Anatomically shaped backpack straps make carrying your load comfortable – these can also be combined to form a top grab handle for moving around in airports and on buses. Keeping your gear organised is easy

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Rob Roy Way windfarm inquiry starts

The John Muir Trust will be giving evidence to a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) into the Crossburns wind farm, which will be heard this week (15-18 November) in Aberfeldy Town Hall. The PLI was triggered when Perth & Kinross Council unanimously agreed to oppose the 25-turbine development on the hills above Aberfeldy close to the route of the Rob Roy Way. The JMT also lodged an objection because of the cumulative impact of wind turbines on the Highland Perthshire landscape, whose wild qualities attract visitors from all over the world. With two major wind farms already spread across the area

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Posted in Nature

Season of the Witch (part 2)

Following on from last month’s article, David Lintern seeks a further audience with she who must be obeyed – the Cailleach. The Cailleach, the Scottish spirit-feminine of wild nature, sometimes benevolent and sometimes malevolent, is an integral part of our placename culture. The mother of autumn stormy chaos, sister of frigid winter snows and daughter of regenerating spring bubbles up from our primeval consciousness everywhere we look – in coires, lochs, burns, moors and summits right across the country. On the Isle of Lewis, a whole moonlit panorama is named after her. Viewed from the standing stones of Callanish, the

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Oops! I almost stepped on an owl

It was hard not to feel impossibly smug as I propped my bike up against the ruined house at Gortenbuie. It was absolutely calm, not a breath of wind, and as I peered through the empty windows the only sound I could hear was the rigid dried-up leaves falling from the adjacent sycamore tree. As expected, I’d seen no-one. “How many people ever access the hill from this direction?” I wondered. I stepped out of the ruin’s shadow and looked to the south. The undulating skyline of Mull’s interior burned rusty red in the rising sun, the high hills scattering

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Return of the reds gives hope to iconic species

An innovative project to boost the number of the UK’s red squirrels by relocating individuals to woodlands they cannot reach by themselves is taking a major step forward this month. Conservation experts at the charity Trees for Life will carefully relocate red squirrels from Inverness-shire and Moray to forests near Kinlochewe and at Plockton, where the species is currently absent despite there being suitable habitat for squirrels. The Red Squirrel Reintroduction Project aims to establish 10 new populations in the northwest Highlands, significantly increasing both the numbers and range of the red squirrel in the UK. “We are giving red

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Posted in Nature

NTS monitoring shows recovery of Beinn a’ Bhuird track

Shortly after buying Mar Lodge Estate in the late 1990’s, the National Trust for Scotland set about removing the bulldozed Land-Rover track which was a very visible scar up Beinn a’ Bhuird. The NTS ecology team have recently been out monitoring the re-vegetation which has followed the ground-breaking restoration work. These fixed point photos show that the re-vegetation is progressing nicely and you can see a huge difference between 2002 and 2016, which has greatly reduced the visual impact on the landscape.

Posted in Access issues, Nature


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