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Quarandreaming the Cairngorms

David Lintern returns to the centre for his first post lockdown overnighter. After dark confinement, air and space and the colours of summer. Down in the glen, the first blaeberries, voluptuous purple bell heather and the vivid yokes of bog asphodel line the path. Further up, fresh juniper, birch and pine shoots wave skinny young arms in praise of a warm breeze. Topping out, there are fluorescent green flushes with rust oxide hearts, sharp edged newly bolted deer grass, fluffy head-nodding cotton grass, clusters of dusky white, purple and pink Orchids. It’s an outdoor festival, a landscape in motion. The

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Posted in Features, Magazine

In praise of Wild Camping

David Lintern is asleep on his favourite job Wild camping is quietly embedded in most of the things I love to do outdoors, the silent partner to hilltop wanderings, bike rides and paddles, so it’s been no surprise that under lockdown I’ve pined for it every bit as much as the journeying itself. If moving through landscape is the story, then staying over in the mountains provides the punctuation, a resting place to take stock before the next chapter begins. Without a regular outdoor sleep over I don’t really function properly, and like many of us, my mental health has

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Listening, noticing, knowing

Words, sounds and pictures from lockdown in a rural place. I am sitting by a river near to my house. I sit by that river and the longer I sit, the more I notice. Just the white rush of small rapids upstream to my right at first, but after some minutes, more layers creep in. A slosh of waves on boulders to my left. A bass drone of the main flow ahead, submerged. A small slapping at my feet, where long tendrilled mosses sway in the backwash. A dipper zips past, busy making springtime plans, a robin tries in vain to

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Infected – a call for love in the time of Corona

In the few days before Lockdown was announced, a friend and I went into the mountains northwest of Inverness for the last of winter. It was remote, miles from the nearest road, but we were mindful of the (then) most recent advice to minimise our risk. We’ve both been off the hill more than on recently, but the weather was tempting and for my friend, a keyworker, this was his last leave for what might be some time. On balance, we were cautious: We allowed an extra day and talked down our expectations for a fairly long and quite isolated,

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Dear oh Deer: Scotland’s land use saga continues

Deer are our largest and most populous wild mammal – Are they also an icon of our feudal past, or a conservation whipping boy? David Lintern exhumes the bones of an ongoing debate.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Shooting the Breeze – Anke Addy

Our occasional series of interviews with photographers living and working in Scotland continues. David Lintern speaks to Cairngorms afficionado, Anke Addy. You are originally from the lowlands of the Netherlands. How did you end up living and working in Scotland and what attracted you here? As is often the case, it was for work. First, a short-term job at a field centre in South Wales, and from there to Scotland. Having arrived in the North East, more than 35 years ago, we soon appreciated the varied landscape and spent a lot of time out of doors, and still do. How

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

A Greener Gear Guide, Part 1

In the first part of a short series, David Lintern looks at choosing clothes and kit that work for you, how to extend the life of your gear, plus some of the eco-labelling to look out for when buying. Responding to questions from readers and followers, Walkhighlands have asked me to pen a few thoughts on ‘green’ outdoor clothing and equipment. I’ve spent a good deal of time studying the issue over the last 3 years, and it’s worth starting on a positive note: It has become easier to find out about the outdoor trade’s environmental impact over that time.

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Posted in Features, Gear reviews, Magazine

Charlie’s Round

Walkhighlands regular contributor David Lintern has written the first complete guide to mainland Britain’s big hill running Rounds –
– part guidebook, part social history. Here, he focuses on the man and the story behind the Scottish Round.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Confessions of a non runner

It doesn’t matter how you get there or what you call yourself, the hills don’t care. David Lintern escapes the tyranny of team sports and goes for a jog up a ridge. A few years ago you’d have never caught me doing it. I used to run a bit in secondary school, but only as a way of getting out of games. We’d be allowed off school grounds to run around Shirley hills, but we ran only the pavements and not into the woods themselves. We were on a prescribed route. I tolerated it, but it was mostly an escape

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Some lessons from Glen Etive

“Fruitful glen of pools and fishes, Glen of hawks, blue eyed, crying” – Gleann Measach Iasgach Linneach – Deirdre of the Sorrows According to Irish mythology, Deirdre and her love Naoise founded Glen Etive after fleeing Ulster. What was a place of refuge has become a place of conflict, where environmental priorities are weighed against each other and land justice issues play out. David Lintern looks at the context and wonders what can be learnt. First, a recap. Last year, developer Dickens Hydro Resources put in planning applications for seven run of river hydro schemes, off every main tributary feeding

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature


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