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Features

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

Project 282 – Film

Check out this superb 10 minute film of Emily Scott’s continuous round of the Munros in 2018. Back on the 26th of May 2018, Emily set off to climb all of Scotland’s Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet), attempting to make a continuous, self-propelled and self-supported round. The continuous, self-propelled and (largely) solo expedition took her 120 days and involved 2,200km on foot and 2,600km on the bike, with over 195,000m of ascent. Her great film of the trip – Project 282 – has received some success with film festivals, although of course Covid has meant that the majority of these

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Regeneration: the Mar Lodge Estate

Andrew Painting is a seasonal ecologist at Mar Lodge Estate, the UK’s largest nature reserve in the Cairngorms. His new book, Regeneration: The Rescue of a Wild Land takes a species-by-species look at this landscape through time, focusing on recent conservation efforts that are beginning to pay off. Here he describes a walk around Clais Fhearnaig to show how that story is written onto the landscape. The headlines of the unfolding environmental recovery of Mar Lodge Estate are startling. 30,000-odd hectares of land, holding 15 Munros. Over 5,000 species, with more recorded every year. Ancient tracts of Caledonian pinewood, with

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Getting Scotland’s outdoors ready for busyness

Helen Todd, campaigns and policy manager at Ramblers Scotland, takes a look at efforts to ensure Scotland will be better prepared than last summer to cope with the pent-up demand for the great outdoors when lockdown is eased. Last summer, outdoor recreation in Scotland hit the headlines, but not always for the right reasons. After all the pain of the first Covid lockdown, it was uplifting to see so many people – especially beginners – enjoying the outdoors. In fact, a major independent survey published this month by the David Hume Institute (DHI) showed 36% of people in Scotland spent

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

A Dog’s Life

What does it mean to be a responsible dog owner in the hills with an enthusiastic young dog? Wildlife Guide Lucy Wallace is finding out. Meet Nuis… a yearling border collie with a big heart. He is officially a Good Boy, but there are two things that he finds really tricky: walking nicely on the lead (more on that shortly), and not chasing stuff. Nuis will chase everything. This includes (but is not limited to) bikes, balls, deer, other dogs, cars, leaves, cats, squirrels, birds, people and I’m sure if he could get the chance, sheep. He’s fun loving, impulsive,

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine, Nature

Shooting the Breeze – Ways of Seeing

David Lintern shares a few tips for unlocking a more creative outdoor photography It’s been a year since the last photographer interview on Walkhighlands, at least two since the last photo tutorial, and the start-stop nature of Lockdown (and of my tutoring and guiding work) has afforded time to reflect on why I still love to teach, and the kinds of technical and artistic issues students often present with. As discussed online and in magazines, there’s no shortage of dogmas, opinions and ‘rules’ in outdoor photography, but face to face teaching has shown again and again that many of these

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

Scotland’s Canals – a refuge

With the hills out of reach, outdoors enthusiast Nina Smirnoff tackles the towpaths on her doorstep to escape the strains of the pandemic. Canals were once the lifeline of central Scotland, transporting goods and connecting people, as important then as the roads and internet are today. Struggling with modern stresses and the constraints of lockdown, those same canals have been a very real lifeline to me centuries later. Since 1790 and 1822 when the Forth & Clyde and Union canals respectively opened, they were vital to business and communities in the Central Belt of Scotland. Connecting the North Sea with

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Following Footprints

Ben Dolphin gains a glimpse into hidden lives through studying the trails and tracks left in the snow. I spend a disproportionately huge amount of time staring out the kitchen window. Partly because, like everyone else, I’m spending a lot of time at home just now and I can’t help myself. And partly because there’s always the chance that something of interest will come ambling through the garden while I’m watching. But in recent weeks I’ve seen very little. The snow and cold have driven migratory species off the hill, snooze-prone species into slumber, and the remainder into networks of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Long Covid – a hillwalker’s experience

Jackie Baxter, a keen hill bagger, wild camper and lover of the outdoors, describes her struggle after contracting Covid-19 at the age of 30. It’s early March 2020 and I’m plodding my way along a track in the Borders, exhausted and out of breath This seems a bit odd given that the gradient is virtually flat, I’m walking slowly and I’m used to long days in the outdoors. Putting it down to an “off” day, I push myself through the rest of the walk, getting more and more exhausted with every step and let Malky, my other half, drive home.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Brain Games

The mountains in winter are both exciting and dangerous. David Lintern takes a look at what happens in our heads when we’re lost in the moment outdoors – whether we are ‘beginners’ or ‘experts’. A couple of months ago I had an accident in my boat on the River Findhorn. My friend Debra and I had enjoyed a glorious afternoon paddling under a bluebird sky flanked by broadleaf trees in full autumn psychedelia. We’d paddled all the rapids we’d set out to, bathed in the blissful tranquillity of the flat stretches in-between and finished earlier than planned. It was just

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Posted in Features, Magazine


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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.