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Monthly Archives: April 2017

100,000th member joins Walkhighlands

After passing it’s tenth birthday, the Walkhighlands community has now reached the milestone of 100,000 members. To celebrate the occasion we ran a competition on the forum for people to guess exactly when the 100,000th member would join. The closest guess – just – was Sunset tripper who wins a bottle of single malt whisky. Founded in 2006, Walkhighlands is the busiest walking site in the UK and far and away the busiest outdoors website in Scotland. The site aims to encourage the enjoyment of walking through providing the best information source and social network for walkers in Scotland. Registration

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Posted in News, Walkhighlands news

Our pick: Walks from the NC500, Part 2

This is the second part of our pick of walks from the NC500 road-trip route around the North of Scotland. The first half can be read here. Glencanisp circuit, Lochinver The NC500 continues northwards from Ledmore junction, passing the atmospheric ruins of Ardvreck Castle before turning onto the A837 to head for Lochinver. From here the remarkable outline of Suilven dominates the landscape; there’s a great circular walk here starting up the River Inver that gives views not just of Suilven but of Quinag and Canisp too. Handa Island From Lochinver the NC500 takes the switchback B869 road, passing a

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

Environmental Volunteering and the Cairngorms National Park

Volunteers are everywhere! What – or perhaps who – do you think of when you hear the word ‘volunteer’? Maybe the many volunteers forming part of the Mountain Rescue services across the country? Perhaps helping out with your children’s sports team? Your first thought might be of those who help with Park Runs, or the volunteers at the end of the phone, supporting people in times of crisis. Volunteers are involved in every aspect of our lives, and there’s something for everyone whatever your interests and no matter if you have a few minutes or would like to be involved

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature

Search and Rescue

Britain’s voluntary land-based mountain rescue teams are supported by professional helicopter search and rescue operations. David Lintern visits the new Coastguard Search and Rescue base at Prestwick. Prestwick SAR (search and rescue) became operational in Jan 2016, and in that year it was the busiest base in the UK. It’s one of ten bases across the UK, and the 6th to come online in a phased transfer from the old mix of military and civilian services. Bristow Helicopters Limited now operates the service on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard. Overall, it’s a £1.9 billion operation that rescues or assists about

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Posted in Features, Magazine

“The best idea we ever had”

It is John Muir Day this Friday 21 April. It should be the perfect excuse to get out walking, writes Kevin Lelland of the John Muir Trust. “The best idea we ever had,” said Pulitzer Prize winning author and associate of the Wilderness Society Wallace Stegner of the United States National Parks system. And the man who more than anyone helped turn that idea into an enduring reality was a boy from East Lothian who at ten years old set sail with his family on an emigrant ship across the Atlantic. John Muir was many things: a writer, an explorer,

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Posted in Magazine, Nature

Why we should care about peat

Peat. Don’t you just love it? Well, if you’re a hillwalker there’s a good chance that you don’t, because when it’s exposed at the surface or when it comes served with its standard topping of spongy luminous moss, it can be a thing of real anguish. It’s difficult to love something that swallows your feet, stinks to high heaven and whose acidic character hastens your boots’ demise. And yet peat is vitally important stuff, so when that soggy black morass makes the headlines (as it has done twice in the last month) it’s definitely worth taking notice. What is peat?

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

£200k path restoration begins on Suilven

A major programme of path repairs and upgrade work has begun on Suilven, Assynt’s famous community-owned mountain. Due to increasing popularity, fragile soils and harsh climate, the most popular approach to Suilven, beginning at Glencanisp, is rapidly deteriorating. The restoration project will set out to repair an eroded 2.5km section of the route to prevent further damage and maintain public access, and protect the rare habitat of peat bog and wet heath, along with the plants and wildlife it supports. It will aim to create a high quality, but still natural-looking path. The Suilven Path Project is a partnership between the Assynt Foundation,

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Posted in Access issues, Nature

Oh Danny Boy

I wonder how many others were saddened to watch a video on Facebook featuring the extremely talented cyclist Danny MacAskill and his cousin riding the Beinn na Caillich horseshoe above Broadford on trials motorbikes. Like everyone else I have nothing but respect for Danny MacAskill, someone whose skills, boldness and abilities have become legendary. To use a rather overused term he is iconic, as I discovered when I took my nine-year old granddaughter out for a bike ride. “I hope you don’t mind Papa,” she said, “but my favourite cyclist is Danny MacAskill, but you are my favourite old cyclist.”

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend planned for 12-14 May

The Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend 12-14 May is a celebration of the fantastic wildlife of the Cairngorms National Park. With over 50 activities taking place across the Cairngorms National Park the organisers say there will be something for everyone, from families to the more seasoned nature lover. TV naturalist Nick Baker is the special guest again in 2017 and you can join him on a ‘Minibeast safari’ or hear him talk about his life as a wildlife presenter in Blair Atholl. Take your little ones to explore the fairies and trolls at Ryvoan, enjoy a wild sleepout with the rangers

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Posted in Nature

Walkhighlands adds its 2,000th walking route

We’ve just added the 2,000th walking route to Walkhighlands – a milestone for the site. Having recently passed its 10th birthday, Walkhighlands has long been Scotland’s busiest outdoors website and is the most popular walking routes site in the UK. Whilst new routes are still being added – with new hillwalks and also our first coverage of the Shetland Islands planned for this year – most of the work on our routes is now on updates and the mammoth task of keeping all of the free route descriptions and maps up to date. Walkhighlands already covers walks on all of

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Posted in Magazine, News, Walkhighlands 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.