Month: February 2016

I was out ski touring on Saturday on Glas Tulaichean near the Spittal of Glen Shee which was brought into the Cairngorms National Park when its boundaries were extended in 2010.  The south side of the river here is part of the Dalmunzie Estate which has an interesting history https://www.dalmunzieestate.com/history/ – its striking just how  many people lived here before the estate was cleared –  and until the 1970s had its own railway to help transport (more…)

Earlier this week Reforesting Scotland launched their new Guidance on Hutting http://www.thousandhuts.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/160215-Huts-Guidance-FINAL-screen-res.pdf.   It was welcomed by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, “Huts and hutting are a great way for people to enjoy Scotland’s outstanding natural environment, with all the benefits to health and wellbeing this can bring. I very much welcome the publication of this guidance, which I hope will provide an important opportunity for many more people in Scotland to enjoy the recreational benefits associated with huts and hutting.”  Substitute the words “camping” for “hutting and (more…)

IMG_1657 If you’ve been along the A82 in the last eight months, you might have seen this wrecked car just off the road south of Inverarnan. I first saw it last summer  and when it was still there in October wrote to Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of the National Park Authority to ask if the Park had noticed it and were planning to do anything about it. His reply (more…)

Mike Wade, in an article in the Times on Saturday http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article4684602.ece has done a great service in showing that local communities are far from unified in their support for camping bye-laws. After quoting Stuart Fraser, of the Oak Tree Inn at Balmaha, which has been vocal in its support for the bye-laws, he quotes not just one but four residents from the Callander area who are opposed to them: Gene and Liz Maxwell who live on a farm and run (more…)

Nick pitch 2cI went climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda yesterday, a good choice as winter conditions had survived the thaw and the real storm was some way south. The Coire Cas carpark was still windy though, with climbers putting goggles on before leaving the car and people huddling inside buildings. The slopes were stripped, not a chance of skiing anywhere. All this reminded me just why trying to develop mainstream tourism facilities at Cairngorm is doomed to disaster. It really is a place for the committed, whether skiers or climbers.

Yet the current leaseholder of the ski area, Natural Retreats,  main idea for making a success of it is (more…)

Having spent much of the last year trying to persuade decision makers and through reasoned argument and evidence, I was appalled by the decision of Aileen McLeod, the Environment Minister to approve new camping byelaws for Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. I very much admire Cameron McNeish, who had been trying to lobby quietly on this, for going public so quickly
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/news/scottish-government-approves-lomond-camping-ban/0014345/. I wondered what I could add to that.

My first thought was to build on Cameron’s critique through (more…)