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Midge numbers down in North and West Scotland

Rubh and Dunain, near Glenbrittle on Skye

Rubh and Dunain, near Glenbrittle on Skye

The number of midges in the north and west Scotland has been falling recently. At the same time midge numbers in Northern Ireland and parts of South West England and Wales have been increasing.

However a midge expert said that this was likely to be due to local weather conditions each year rather than a general shift of the insects south as a result of climate change. The BBC reported that Dr Alison Blackwell, from Edinburgh University, said that midge levels down south and in Northern Ireland were unlikely to reach the levels found in parts of Scotland.

“Midges need large areas of suitable habitat to reach the kind of numbers we see in the west coast of Scotland, where you get vast peat bogs and similar habitat,” she said. “There’s nowhere in England which would match that.”

Anecdotal reports from Walkhighlands users indicate that midges might have become less of a irritant over the last few years, although strangely some people have been reporting large numbers of clegs which might not have the annoyance factor that midges bring but their bite is much worse.

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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.