Northern part of Rum Cuillin closed due to Avian flu

NatureScot is requesting that walkers avoid part of the Rum Cuillin until mid-October, until after the Manx shearwater chicks have fledged. This temporary measure is in response to growing concerns over the spread and impact of the current H5N1 strain of avian flu on seabirds in Scotland. By limiting disturbance and the potential spread of the H5NI virus by people, it gives these special seabirds the best possible chance of survival and recovery. Manx shearwater chicks begin to fledge in late September, with the majority of chicks having left the colony by mid-October. NatureScot is to provide local advice under

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature

John o’ Groats trail recruits full-time manager

Friends of the John O’Groats Trail (JOGT), a long-distance walking route which stretches from Inverness to John O’Groats, have announced the appointment of their first ever manager, after receiving funding from the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund, the Beatrice Partnership Fund, and the Caithness Beatrice Fund. Kenneth McElroy, will join the John O’Groats Trail from mid-September, and will oversee the development of the trail. McElroy, a community development specialist, brings several years’ experience in the North Highland tourism sector, with former roles with the Wild North Festival, North Coast 500, in addition to his voluntary service as director with Caithness

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

Our pick: 12 of Scotland’s most fascinating caves

Caves are perhaps not the first landscape feature people associate with Scotland. Think high mountains, picturesque glens, rugged coastline and stunning sandy beaches – but caves? Here we list 12 of the most fascinating caves for walkers to visit. The Bone Caves, Inchnadamph, Sutherland The celebrated limestone Bone Caves were excavated in 1889 by the geologists Peach and Horne. They found the remains of now extinct animals which once roamed the Highlands including lynx, polar bear, arctic fox and lemmings. It is believed that the caves may have once sheltered both these animals and also the humans who hunted them.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

Avian Flu: NatureScot advises against visits to 23 islands

NatureScot is advising public landings to stop on 23 Scottish islands, limiting the spread of avian flu and giving seabirds the best possible chance to survive and recover from the current severe outbreak. As of this week, the following islands have been advised to stop public landings until chicks have fledged. Until the end of August for breeding puffins, Arctic skuas and Arctic terns: Orkney – Calf of Eday, Swona & Muckle Skerry Firth of Forth – Craigleith, Inchmickery, Isle of May Until mid-September for breeding great skuas, common terns, cormorants and fulmars: Shetland – Noss Argyll – Glas Eileanan

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature, News

Behind the headlines: Scottish Mountain Rescue

Last year saw a record number of call outs for Scotland’s mountain rescue teams. What was behind this increase – and can the teams cope? Paul Webster interviews Scottish Mountain Rescue statisticians Tom Adams and Andy Morgan to find out the truths behind the heated posts and discussions we often see on social media. PAUL: Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? TOM: I’m Tom Adams, SMR statistician. I have been a member of Oban Mountain Rescue Team for around 9 years. I am a keen walker, scrambler and mountain biker myself. I used to climb a lot but

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Posted in Features, Magazine

ScotWays calls on public for help with Dalwhinnie crossing evidence

ScotWays (The Scottish Rights of Way & Access Society) is appealing for information from people who have used the Ben Alder level crossing to access long-distance routes west of Dalwhinnie in the Highlands. This is part of continuing efforts to resolve the problems created by Network Rail’s closure of the level crossing. Previous actions have included a public petition signed by over 9000 people, meetings with Network Rail and an open letter from multiple organisations to the Transport Minister. The Ben Alder level crossing is immediately south of Dalwhinnie station in the Cairngorms National Park and is recorded as part

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

Our picks: Scotland’s most remarkable paths

The Silver Walk, Moidart Undoubtedly one of the truly special paths of the Highlands, this fascinating route cut out of the rock through picturesque scenery. The eastern end of the Silver Walk near Kinlochmoidart is currently diverted, but this isn’t the finest part in any case. The best outing is a circuit from stunning Castle Tioram, taking in a deserted hamlet, pine-fringed hill lochs and a view out to the Isles. It’s a stone-cold classic half-day walk – surely one of Scotland’s finest. Kinloch Hourn to Barrisdale Bay, Knoydart The Knoydart landscape ranks amongst Scotland’s most rugged, to the extent

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine, Our picks

Hebridean Way guide launched on Walkhighlands

We’re delighted to launch our new guide to the Hebridean Way, the unique 253km walking route which begins on the island of Vatersay, and visits Barra, Eriskay, South Uist, Benbecula, Grimsay, North Uist, Berneray and Harris and Lewis, finishing in the capital of the Western Isles, Stornoway. Our full guide: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/outer-hebrides/hebridean-way.shtml We’ve fully detailed descriptions of the route in 12 stages in our usual style, all illustrated with photography and full Ordnance Survey mapping. If doing the route in stages, you can record your progress stage-by-stage. You can also record your own experiences of walking the route and read those

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Exclusive endurance race accused of vandalism on Goatfell

The exclusive Highland Kings race – which charges entry fees of £15,000 per person – has been accused of vandalism after daubing yellow arrows on rocks where the route heads over Goatfell on Arran. Local mountain guide Lucy Wallace – a contributor as Walkhighlands and a member of the local mountain rescue team – raised the issue on her Facebook page: “Last night while I was having a brilliant time on Goatfell with my friends, (yet somehow leaving no trace of our presence), we saw that the mountain had been daubed in hundreds of these sprayed on yellow waymarks. I

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Posted in Magazine, Nature, News

Scottish Nature Photography Awards winners revealed

The Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2021 winners have been selected by the judging panel, photographers Kit Martin, Rebecca Nason and Niall Irvine. Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2021 is landscape photographer Darren Cole, whose winning image portrays a dramatic scene of a muirburn fire below snow-covered peaks near his home on the Isle of Harris. Ice and Fire won the Environmental category before being chosen as the overall winner against stiff competition from a range of abstract, botanical, wildlife and landscape categories. Kit Martin said: “Ice and Fire is stunning. The competition was fierce in the Environmental category, but

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Posted in Magazine, News, Photography

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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.