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Scots set for return to the hills from Friday

In a surprise announcement today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that restrictions on travel within Scotland are to be lifted from this Friday 16th April. It had been expected that this was to happen on 26th April, but it has been brought forward “to benefit people’s mental health”. All categories of accommodation still remain closed until the planned reopening on 26th April, when it is also expected that travel into Scotland from the other UK nations will also be permitted. Also from 26th, upto 6 people will be able to meet outdoors – currently there is a maximum of 4

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

Use of MBA bothies: latest advice

The Mountain Bothies Association has issued an update to its advice. The bothies that the charity maintains in Scotland, England and Wales through its volunteers should not be used at present except in an emergency. This is because Covid-19 precautions such as social distancing, regular sanitising and wearing of face coverings might not be practised by some visitors which would put other people at risk irrespective of reducing rates of infection. MBA Chairman Simon Birch said: “While we now have a timetable for when travel restrictions might be removed, there is as yet no firm information about when other restrictions

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

Linn of Dee and Glen Muick roads to be restricted during busy periods

Aberdeenshire Council has put in place new road orders to allow for the roads to the Linn of Dee and to the Spittal of Glenmuick to be closed when car parks are full. Last year there was serious overcrowding at both locations, with vehicles parked dangerously, blocking emergency access roads and, in some cases, causing damage. The council will, when the car parks are full, be restricting entry over a 7-month period commencing from April 1st. Pete Crane, Head of Visitor Services at the Cairngorms National Park authority, said “Last year, as part of the visitor management work, Aberdeenshire Council

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

More investment in nature reserves and rangers

Funding of £750,000 is being invested in NatureScot’s National Nature Reserves (NNRs) in preparation for visitors this summer. Up to 20 additional rangers and other staff are also being recruited to welcome people back and help them to respect, protect and enjoy our great outdoors. This is in additional to the new rangers already announced by both the Cairngorms National Park and Highland Council. More than a million people are estimated to have visited one of the nature agency’s 29 National Nature Reserves in 2020, a record number that is expected to increase this year. With coronavirus restrictions set to be eased

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Walkhighlands plans major responsible access campaign

We’re planning to run a responsible access campaign across Walkhighlands during this summer. When mainland travel restrictions are lifted on 26th April, we’ll be replacing the Covid messaging (currently “Stay at Home”) across the website to a call of “Let’s Keep Scotland’s Outdoors Special”. The messaging will run across the top of everyone of the 2,100+ free walks on the website, which has also removed all automated advertising. Last summer, we saw more than a million walks being downloaded from Walkhighlands in a single month. All walks will now include the new messaging. The campaign aims to reinforce Scotland’s Outdoor

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

Saving Wildcats project receives boosts

Efforts to save the Scottish wildcat from extinction have taken a major step forwards after the first cat was introduced to the Saving Wildcats conservation breeding for release centre at the Highland Wildlife Park. The project has also been boosted by a £9000 donation raised by a local fundraiser who rescued a potential hybrid wildcat kitten near Grantown on Spey. Nell, a young female, arrived from Alladale Wilderness Reserve and has settled well into the off-show centre, which provides breeding space, veterinary care, remote monitoring and training to prepare cats for life in the wild.   It is hoped that any

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Posted in Magazine, News

Call for government champion to capitalise on rising numbers outdoors

A dozen outdoor organisations are together calling for a new ‘Outdoor Recreation Champion’ role to be created within the Scottish Government, to ensure that everyone in society benefits from being active in nature.  The new cross-departmental role is one of several innovative ideas within a joint manifesto published today by Scottish Outdoor Recreation Alliance (SORA), aimed at supporting the booming demand for the outdoors. SORA’s Manifesto for the Outdoors also calls for: A guarantee that every primary and secondary school pupil has at least one week away at an outdoor centre Long-term strategic investment in infrastructure such as facilities, ranger services, education and skills training More support for BAME communities and people in deprived areas to

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Posted in Magazine, News

Travel restrictions within mainland Scotland to end on 26th April

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a new timetable for the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions. The instruction to ‘Stay at Home’ will end on 2nd April, subject to continued positive data, and will be replaced by an instruction to ‘Stay Local’. More significant for those interested in outdoor recreation and getting away from the cities, it is hoped that restrictions on travel within all areas of mainland Scotland will end on 26th April. It is expected that this lifting of travel restrictions will also include those from the rest of the UK coming to Scotland. Accommodation businesses are expected to

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Scottish winter hillwalkers needed for survey

Do you regularly head out into the Scottish hills in winter? The Scottish Avalanche Information Service has teamed up with Stirling University to find out more about how walkers, climbers and skiers plan their trips. The researchers are keen to hear from everyone who would normally (assuming no Covid-restrictions) go out at least a couple of times in winter. Researchers are hoping as many people as possible will complete the survey from novice walkers to experienced mountaineers. The aim of the survey is to better understand how published avalanche reports and the avalanche service is used and understood by climbers,

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Posted in Magazine, News

Plea for dog owners to take the lead and be responsible

Several Scottish organisations have united in an urgent plea to dog owners across the country to keep their dogs under proper control around livestock. Lambing season is already well underway in Scotland, and most of the ewes we see now grazing the hills and fields are heavily pregnant at this time of year. Already farmers are reporting worrying attacks on their sheep by dogs, often because dog walkers have not kept their pets under control. Many attacks also involve unaccompanied dogs which have been allowed to stray. Some reports include horrible physical injuries to sheep. However, a dog doesn’t need

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Posted in Magazine, Nature, 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.