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Access issues

Data shows most Scots staying local for walks

An analysis of walkhighlands traffic data suggests that most people in Scotland are respecting the Coronavirus travel restrictions when taking their outdoor exercise. There has been a huge shift away from searches for walks in remoter parts of the Highlands, with record people searching out walks close to the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the rest of the central belt. “We all tend to get discouraged by stories on social media about people flouting the rules and travelling wherever they like,” said site co-founder Helen Webster. “Undoubtedly such people exist, and they tend to generate a lot of noise

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Cairngorm snow gates closed at Glenmore

The snow gates on the road up to Cairngorm were closed at Glenmore on Christmas Eve, and are set to remain closed during the current Coronavirus restrictions. This means there is currently no vehicle access to the Coire Cas or Coire na Ciste car parks, nor to the Forestry and Land Scotland car parks at the Sugar Bowl and Allt Mor, even for local residents. We were informed of the closure by Forestry and Land Scotland, who pointed out that they were not involved in the decision, which was requested by Cairngorm Mountain, who have said that Highland Council and

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Scottish Outdoor Access job cuts despite growth in walking and cycling

Landowners and outdoor groups are jointly calling for better resourcing to support Scotland’s world-class access rights – as a new survey highlights alarming cutbacks in countryside access jobs. Scottish Outdoor Access Network (SOAN) polled all 34 access authorities on how they manage access, a topic which has hit the headlines during the Covid era due to booming numbers of people heading outdoors. The survey showed that during 2019/20: ·       Six authorities do not employ a single Access Officer; skilled professionals who find practical solutions to access challenges, and ensure the local authorities carry out their statutory duties ·       The equivalent of just 36.5 full-time

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine

Walking in Scotland’s level 3 & 4 areas – part 2

Do you live in one of Scotland’s local authorities that are currently under level 3 Coronavirus restrictions? We’re taking a look at what walking opportunities are still available to you, within the government guidance. The first half of this article, covering level 3 Coronavirus restriction areas from Angus to Glasgow, can be read here. Inverclyde The classic walk in Inverclyde is the excellent Greenock Cut, a circuit following an old aqueduct above the towns, with fantastic views across the Clyde. For a short outing, Craig’s Top rewards the effort of ascent with panoramas over both Greenock and Gourock, or there’s

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Walking for those in Scotland’s level 3 & 4

The continuing coronavirus pandemic has seen restrictions on travel in Scotland (and the rest of the UK) – cutting down on the areas where we can walk. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland or the Western Isles are currently allowed to travel and walk within all of those areas, but not travel into a level 3 area for a walk. But for those living in a level 3 area, all is not lost – as you can still travel to begin your exercise throughout

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Coronavirus advice on walking and travel clarified

The Scottish Government has clarified its advice on walking and outdoor exercise for those who live in areas under Tier 3 or 4 restrictions. The new guidance states that if you live in a tier 3 or 4 area, you are permitted to travel upto 5 miles out of your local authority area in order to go for a walk or other form of outdoor exercise. Walks (and bike rides) outside your local authority area are also permitted if the walk (or bike ride) starts and ends within your local authority. The full new guidance on travel is available here.

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Langholm community’s "impossible dream" set to come true

The South of Scotland’s largest community buyout is set to go ahead following one of the most ambitious community fundraising campaigns ever seen – with the community of Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway raising the final funds needed in the nick of time. The bid was previously featured in David Lintern’s Walkhighlands feature, Langholm – a landscape of hope. A landmark community buyout agreement of £3.8 million for over 5,000 acres of land has been reached between The Langholm Initiative charity and Buccleuch – paving the way for the creation of a huge new nature reserve to help tackle climate

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature

Hill walkers urged not to be left in the dark as clocks change

A headtorch – and a spare – should be essential items in every walker’s rucksack as British Summer Time comes to an end. Mountain rescue teams have had a busy summer and have already had incidents this year where walkers either haven’t had a torch, or have had a torch but discovered they were not able to get themselves back off the hill once darkness fell. Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Adviser with Mountaineering Scotland said: “It has been good to see so many new people enjoying Scotland’s mountains this summer, and we hope they will continue to enjoy the great

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

Outdoors and nature engagement sustained post-lockdown

An increase in people visiting the outdoors and engaging with nature has continued after lockdown, a new survey shows. NatureScot has published the second wave of research into how our relationship with the outdoors and nature has changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, carried out in partnership with Scottish Forestry, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and Paths for All. The research was revealed as the nature agency launched its autumn Make Space for Nature campaign, encouraging people to take part in simple, fun activities to help nature thrive. The latest survey of more than 1,100 people found that

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Posted in Access issues, News

Outdoors groups demand transparency on plans for Cairngorm

A coalition of outdoors organisations is calling for plans drawn up by Highlands & Islands Enterprise to be made publicly available prior to a decision by the Scottish Government as to whether to fund the proposals. Ramblers Scotland, the North East Mountain Trust (NEMT), the Scottish Wild Land Group and the Cairngorm Campaign have all come together to express their shared concern that public money may be wasted on costly and unsustainable proposals for the mountain’s ski area, including the fate of the funicular railway which has been closed since 2018. The group is very concerned about the lack of

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature


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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.