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Nature

Rewilding in pictures: more Scottish landowners join Northwoods network

Increasing numbers of Scottish landowners are joining a chain of rewilding projects to tackle the nature and climate emergencies, and create new economic opportunities for rural communities. The Northwoods Rewilding Network is bringing together a diverse group of farms, estates, crofts and community lands, and has more than doubled in size to 28 land partners since its April launch. The sites now cover more than 7,000 acres between them, and Northwoods aims to grow to at least 10,000 acres within two years. Operated by rewilding charity SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, Northwoods was created in response to a growing number of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature, News

The Vanishing Ice

Iain Cameron has been fascinated by ice and snow since the age of nine. In this extract from his book The Vanishing Ice, Iain describes an expedition to seek out the elusive snow patches that remain well into summer in the Scottish mountains as little-seen relics of the Ice Age. The bulk of Braeriach is immense. Apart from Ben Nevis, its only possible rival, the Cairngorms’ second-highest hill has no British equal in terms of complexity or majesty. Its name, translated into English as ‘the brindled upland’, understates its character significantly. There may be other hills in Scotland that are,

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Cairngorms 2030 project secures £12.5m funding

The Cairngorms National Park has secured the largest award amongst five projects across the UK to receive a share of £50million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Horizon Awards. The Cairngorms 2030: people and nature thriving together project has been developed by the National Park Authority with 45 partners. The plan includes more than 20 schemes across the National Park, which is the largest of the UK and home to 25% of all its threatened species. The schemes planned include restoring 3,500 hectares of peatland, planting thousands of trees to help add 1,000 hectares of woodland cover, developing a

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Posted in Magazine, Nature, News

Simply Red

Polly Pullar has had a passion for red squirrels since childhood. As a wildlife rehabilitator, she knows the squirrel on a profoundly personal level and has hand-reared numerous litters of orphan kits, eventually returning them to the wild. As her new book A Scurry of Squirrels is published next week, she tells us of the charming rodent’s fight for survival. Perhaps it may come as a surprise that until 1981 when the red squirrel received legal protection, it was still legal to cull it. I certainly find it hard to imagine now that we have raised this enchanting little rodent

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

The Willow Walk: why a team of volunteers carried 3,000 saplings into the Cairngorms

In early June, a team of courageous Cairngorms Connect partners and volunteers carried 3,000 downy willow saplings into the Cairngorm Mountains. This small species of native willow tree is specially adapted for life in the extreme climate of the Cairngorm mountains but sadly, is struggling to survive. Through a momentous team effort, this rare shrub is being thrown a lifeline, thanks to local volunteers, Cairngorms Connect, Trees for Life and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Cairngorms Connect Communications and Involvement Manager, Sydney Henderson, describes the epic journey… The day began at the Cairn Gorm Ski Centre car park, and as

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

The thunderstorm, the flood and the landslide

Generally speaking, we in Scotland live in a quiet corner of the world. Our volcanoes are long extinct and there’s not been a major landscaping event since the glacial ice retreated. Sure, the earth shakes from time to time, and the turbulent atmosphere occasionally rattles our homes, but for the most part we live on pretty solid ground. We can therefore be forgiven for looking at our landscapes with a comforting sense of permanence. This is how it has always been, and this is how it will always be. Scotland is timeless. Scotland is forever. It’s an illusion of course,

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Munro Mountain Moths

Scotland’s mountains are famed for their wonderful landscapes and iconic wildlife. However, to many this conjures up thoughts of majestic Golden Eagles, approachable Ptarmigan or bounding Mountain Hares. However, Scotland’s mountains are also home to many species of scarce and specialised moths that have adapted to live in this hostile environment. Most of these are very under-recorded as few lepidopterists regularly venture onto the high tops, whist many hillwalkers are mostly oblivious to their presence, soaking in the wonderful panoramas unaware of fluttering or crawling moths around their boots. Remarkably several of these species are day-flying, for instance, the very

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

I finally bought my own trail camera!

I’m a bit excited when I check my new trail camera for the first time. It’s that same feeling I remember so vividly from Christmas Day in the 1980s – when you finally got to see just how amazing that new toy you’d been craving from the Argos catalogue for the past year actually was. What hidden garden wonders will be revealed? What new creatures will be discovered? Oh the anticipation! I walk up to it, open the housing, and the display inside reads 4/455. YES! Four new files have been created. Four 20-second snippets of an animal moving in

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature, Photography

Chain of rewilding ‘stepping stones’ to tackle Scotland’s nature and climate crises

A chain of nature-rich hotspots bringing together a diverse group of estates, farms, crofts and community-owned land is to be created across Scotland with a new rewilding network launched by charity SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. The Northwoods Rewilding Network will allow more of Scotland’s many smaller landholdings of 50 to 1,000 acres to play a bigger role in restoring and connecting rich habitats full of life to boost declining species, tackle climate breakdown, and create new opportunities for rural communities.  Northwoods will complement Scotland’s major landscape-scale rewilding sites by filling in the gaps in local areas and joining together a tapestry of smaller nature recovery

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Posted in Magazine, Nature, News

Wild Winter

This week sees the publication of Wild Winter, the latest book from John Burns, bestselling author of The Last Hillwalker. In Wild Winter, John sets out to rediscover Scotland’s mountains, remote places and wildlife in the darkest and stormiest months. He traverses the country from the mouth of the River Ness to the Isle of Mull, from remote Sutherland to the Cairngorms, in search of rutting red deer, minke whales, beavers, pine martens, mountain hares and otters. In the midst of the fierce weather, John’s travels reveal a habitat in crisis, and many of these wild creatures prove elusive as they

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature


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