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Features

Safe as Houses

David Lintern celebrates the humble mountain shelter, past and present. As intimated in the close of my last piece here, I found it impossible to walk from Fort William to the Cape without reflecting on the past inhabitants of the glens we walked through. On the way, we passed many bothies I’d not yet visited; real highlights of the walk for me. While these buildings were officially closed due the pandemic, doing a long walk like the Cape Wrath Trail reiterates just how important these shelters are from a mountain safety point of view – there were days when we

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Posted in Features, Magazine

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 Farthest Shore

In February 2019, award-winning writer Alex Roddie left his online life behind when he set out to walk 300 miles through the Scottish Highlands, seeking solitude and answers. In leaving the chaos of the internet behind for a month, he hoped to learn how it was truly affecting him – or if he should look elsewhere for the causes of his anxiety. In this extract from his new book The Farthest Shore, out on September 2nd, Alex shares some of the pain and joy from the start of his solo winter challenge. Day 1: 6 February 2019, Ardnamurchan Point, Scotland

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Posted in Features, Magazine

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

Our pick – Scottish Lighthouse walks

Walkhighlands features 43 walks that visit one of Scotland’s remarkable collection of lighthouses. Taking all manner of shapes and sizes, these sentinels of the sea usually provide striking landmarks for those exploring on foot, as well as acting as a warning to boats out on the water. Here’s a few of the best. Rattray Head, Aberdeenshire Rising splendidly off the Aberdeenshire seaboard on a stone plinth, Rattray Head is a striking sight from the magnificent beaches between Peterhead and Fraserburgh. Like almost all Scottish lighthouses, it was built by the Stevenson family – in this case by David Stevenson in 1895.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

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

Lessons from the Cape Wrath Trail

In May 2021, regular Walkhighlands columnist David Lintern walked over 200 miles from Fort William to Cape Wrath. Here’s a few things he wished he’d known at the start. The long walk to the Cape means different things to different people; a challenge, a pilgrimage, a journey of discovery, an escape from the norm, a test of endurance, willpower and fitness. People generally start in Fort William and finish at the Cape Wrath lighthouse, although we met a fair number who were heading in the opposite direction. Is it the toughest trail in the UK, as it’s often billed? I’ve

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Posted in Features, Magazine

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


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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.