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Access issues

Managing tourism – lessons from overseas

This has been a difficult summer for anyone who loves visiting Scotland’s glorious landscapes, especially those who enjoy wild camping or campervanning. With overseas holidays largely off the agenda, and formal accommodation capacity in Scotland much reduced due to Coronavirus measures, social media has been ablaze with anger at littering and poor behaviour, tension between visitors and locals, and talk of “overtourism”. Over the last 12 years I’ve spent on average a couple of days a week out in the Highlands, all year round, sleeping in a vehicle by the roadside – firstly in a Berlingo, more recently in a

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Walkers urged to check for deer stalking before Heading for the Scottish Hills

Hillwalkers are being encouraged to check online for deer stalking information before setting out during the busiest part of the season. NatureScot manages the Heading for the Scottish Hills website which provides details on deer stalking on estates between July and late October to help walkers avoid disturbing stalking. With many more people getting out and about to enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer following the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the website helps walkers to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. It includes advice on where and when stag stalking is taking place on each estate,

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

Outdoors groups demand urgent rethink over “kneejerk” Perthshire parking bans

Walkers and mountaineers are calling for Perth & Kinross Council to urgently reconsider its “disproportionate” decision to ban parking on nine of its rural roads. The local authority introduced sweeping new parking restrictions across about 60 miles of roads on 22 August, without prior consultation with the outdoor community. Ramblers Scotland and Mountaineering Scotland have united to condemn the move, which makes it much harder to visit several of the area’s best-known beauty spots, including Glen Lyon, Loch Tay, Loch Tummel and the iconic Munro, Schiehallion. As well as affecting walkers and climbers, the restrictions will stop families, dog-walkers, picnickers,

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

‘Tak it Hame’ call for hillwalkers to remove litter left by others

Mountaineering Scotland is asking hill walkers and climbers to help keep Scotland’s hills and mountains clear of litter and to ‘Tak It Hame’ – removing not just their own litter, but any they find left by others. Tak It Hame 2020 is being launched as coronavirus lockdown eases and the lifting of travel restrictions has seen much publicity about littering and ‘dirty camping’ in some of Scotland’s most popular beauty spots. It had been planned to relaunch the anti-litter campaign in early spring to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Mountaineering Scotland. But due to the Coronavirus lockdown, that was

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature, News

Plan to avoid the busiest walks this weekend

Some of Scotland’s best known places for walks are set to be busy again this weekend, as people continue to enjoy the eased lockdown restrictions. Last week, certain very popular locations within easy reach of a day trip from the central belt became excessively busy, with car parks overfull and excessive parking on the verges causing obstruction on narrow roads. This is likely to be the case again on some routes, especially in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with its proximity to Glasgow. Parking and roads to Ben A’an, Conic Hill and Ben Lomond are likely to

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Essential Repairs on Schiehallion

Visitors warned of closures at Schiehallion during July for essential path repairs. After many years of successful volunteer-based maintenance, contractors are to begin new repairs on the main route to the top of the renowned Perthshire landmark. Essential repair work on the mountain path means access to the mountain will not be possible for three days – 22, 23, 24 July (weather dependent) – when a helicopter lift will bring stone into the site from elsewhere on the mountain. This will be used to build steps and drainage features that have suffered from both natural and human made erosion. For

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Posted in Access issues, News

Welcome back – but be responsible

It’s going to be great to once again have freedom to travel around Scotland more than 5 miles from home, from Friday 3rd July. But we need to all think carefully when planning where we head out beyond our local area this weekend. On the one hand, it’s going to be a good idea to pick somewhere not too obvious, off the beaten track, to avoid overcrowding. On the other hand, Mountain Rescue teams are going to be stretched with slower response times and fewer team members available than normal – so it is a good idea to stay well

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

Scotland leisure travel limit to be lifted on 3th July

The Scottish Government announced today that they are planning to remove the 5 mile limit on leisure travel on the 3rd July. This means that day trips to the hills will be possible for all at last. Self-catering accommodation which has its own private facilities can also reopen from that date. The indicative dates announced today include: Travel distance restriction relaxed – 3 July Self-catering accommodation and second homes (without shared facilities) permitted – 3 July Outdoor hospitality (subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice) – 6 July People can meet in extended groups outdoors (with physical distancing) – 10 July Households can meet indoors with up

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Welcoming back visitors to the Cairngorms – the National Park’s view

Across Scotland, preparations are being made for the potential reopening of countrywide travel and recreation from July 15th. We asked Grant Moir, CEO of the Cairngorms National Park, how his area is getting ready to welcome visitors back. I suspect, like me, you have missed heading out to the mountains for a long day or visiting your favourite Cairngorm spot with your family. More than that, visitors are the lifeblood of the Cairngorms National Park economy. The coming weeks will hopefully see the reopening of the countryside and we need to try and ensure that this is done safely for

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Scottish tourism asked to prepare to reopen from July 15

Scotland’s tourism minister Fergus Ewing has told Scotland’s tourism businesses to prepare to reopen on July 15th, conditional on Scotland reaching stage 3 of its lockdown easing plan. The final decision on whether to go ahead will be made at the 9th July review. Restrictions on travel outside of people’s local area are expected to lift from the 15th July, which will see a return to hillwalking for people who live some distance from the mountains. However, he also wanted that “absolutely nothing can be guaranteed” and the date could be changed if infection rates do not continue to fall.

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Posted in Access issues, 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.