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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Gear Review: Rab Blizzard Mitt

RRP: £80 Weight: 235g per pair (small) When is a mitt not really a mitt? With the Rab Blizzard, the mitt outer conceals a glove-shaped inner supposedly to give the best of both worlds; I’ve been testing it over the winter. This is a gauntlet-style mitt with box wall construction in a pre-formed shape with single finger inserts. I found them to be close fitting – the women’s small really is small, particularly in width and unlike normal mitts the finger inserts mean there is little extra room inside. However the fit is well-designed, giving good articulation and being comfortable

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Posted in Accessories, Gear reviews

Saving Red Squirrels

Back in November I wrote a piece for Walkhighlands about pine martens, in which I referred to a study that was underway at the time into their intriguing relationship with both red and grey squirrels. The results of that study were published last week and made headline news, so now seems a good time to revisit the subject. Many of you are doubtless familiar with our squirrels but I think it’s still worth going back to the very beginning of this fascinating story. The red squirrel The red squirrel is the only squirrel native to the British Isles, i.e. it

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Can we live with lynx?

A landmark new book, The Lynx and Us, is being published next month by Scotland: The Big Picture. Here the author of the book Dr David Hetherington, the UK’s leading lynx expert, asks what it would be like to live alongside lynx. Until just a few years ago, the lynx was virtually unknown as a former native of Scotland. Beavers and wolves dominated discussions about reintroductions. Nowadays though, it seems you can barely open a newspaper, magazine or website without meeting the intense, feline stare of a lynx as the prospect of their return is very publicly raised once again.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

£5.6million Lottery cash for Scottish landscapes

The National Lottery has marked the first day of Spring with an investment of over £5.6million in three large-scale Scottish landscapes from the remotest islands of Orkney to the industrial coastline of North Ayrshire. The North Isles in Orkney, Callander’s Pass on the eastern edge of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and River Garnock catchment in Ayrshire will benefit from this major funding package which is set to impact on over 700 square km of countryside, an area the same size as Singapore. Around 60 individual projects will take place to conserve many different habitats while creating

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Posted in Nature

Walk on

Three years ago, in March 2015, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose to witness a 96% solar eclipse darken the skies over northern Scotland. My husband and I parked up behind Evanton before breakfast and began an hour-long ascent of Cnoc Fyrish. We quickly realised our idea wasn’t an original one when we crested the summit of the hill and found a couple of dozen people already gathered around the Fyrish Monument, overlooking the Cromarty Firth, waiting for the spectacle to unfold. Our efforts paid off in spite of the overcrowded hilltop and unseasonably cold wind. An eerie darkness descended over Ross

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Closures to Glen Nevis and other roads during filming

A feature film currently being shot in Scotland is going to lead to a number of road, car park and footpath closures on certain days over the next couple of weeks. The details given on the closures are below: Glen Nevis The Glen Nevis Road C1162 will be temporarily closed to traffic from Wednesday 21 March to Saturday 24 March 2018, as we film along the road from the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel to the Lower Falls Car park and around the set we are currently building in the Lower Falls area. During the road closure, access to the paths

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Posted in Access issues

On TV tonight: The Battle for Scotland’s Countryside

On BBC One Scotland tonight at 9pm: “Fifteen years after the passing of Scotland’s historic Land Reform Act, actor David Hayman presents a personal view of the battle for access to Scotland’s stunning countryside, revealing how this conflict has shaped the physical and cultural landscape of the country. He meets landowners, gamekeepers and hill walkers to discover how ordinary Scots have come to claim their right to roam over their country’s mountains and glens. The story begins with Victorian rebels who dared to march across private grouse moors. Then on to the 1930s, when thousands of urban Scots streamed out

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Posted in Access issues

Back to Beinn a’ Chaorrain

Dawn leaked over the roof of the Rec’, a pale blue canvas, a promise. I was already late but it would do. I crept out of the still sleeping house, hard frosted back garden grass, hard frosted windscreen glass. Newtonmore stirred, turned over and went back to sleep as I passed, Laggan still rested, afloat in a frozen floodplain. To the west, a milky gauze lay softly, poised between out breath and in breath, a stillness I’d forgotten existed recently. Our human world can be so self-involved, I’d not had time to look around me this winter. As the road

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Review: Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir and Insulated Delivery System

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir RRP: £34 Weight: 21g (2 litre) I switched to using hydration bladders over bottles about 10 years ago and despite the faffing involved with cleaning and drying I wouldn’t go back. I drink more, find the reservoir is more comfortable in my rucksack, and they are generally easier to fill from streams than bottles. In recent months I’ve been testing a 2 litre Osprey reservoir and as it’s been winter, the optional insulated tube and bite valve cover that goes with it. The resevoir is made from BPA and PVC-free flexible thermoplastic polyurethane, which despite feeling thin

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Posted in Accessories, Gear reviews

For the price of a bobble hat – can you help?

This weekend sees the launch of a major appeal to raise £100,000 to tackle erosion and restore footpaths on two of Scotland’s favourite Munros. With hundreds of thousands of people enjoying walking and climbing in Scotland’s mountains every year, campaigners hope to hit their target over the next eight months by encouraging the nation’s hillwalkers to donate small – whether that be the value of a new pair of hiking socks or a new bobble hat. Mountaineering Scotland and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland (OATS) are jointly leading the Scottish part of this UK-wide campaign which will support one

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature, News, Walkhighlands news


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