About this site

The environment, Nature and beauty from a Scottish perspective.

Knowledge is power......but beyond that I don't have a particular agenda to push here. I don't necessarily have answers to the questions our environment is demanding of us.....but I do have the desire to get more people talking about environmental issues even if we don't all see eye to eye.

Problems are unlikely to be addressed let alone resolved unless folk know what is going on around them. And to that end, information & debate are ultimately better than ignorance or sticking our heads in the sand.

PLUS....it's a beautiful, awe-inspiring and sometimes terrifying planet. Put some time aside to marvel at it.

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    New Walkhighlands article: Shells, Sand and Beaches

    Traigh Morar Arisaig

    On one of my days off last week I went to the beach. That’s not unusual in itself, seeing as I live in Fife. We have 117 miles of coastline right here with glorious sandy beaches and wide open vistas.

    But sometimes, when I know the sun will be shining and the skies will be blue, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than on the west coast with its irresistible mix of beaches, hills, rocks and islands.

    My destination for the day was therefore the stretch of coastline between Arisaig and Morar…..and that is the subject of my latest article for Walkhighlands.  Click on the link to read.

    Tags Walkhighlands Traigh Arisaig Morar Geology Geomorphology beaches Highlands Scotland

    Descending a small hill near Diabaig recently, we came across this rusty old bike propped up against a ruined old building.  It was a weirdly beautiful but sad scene, and it was difficult not to start pondering what happened to the owners of both.

    Descending a small hill near Diabaig recently, we came across this rusty old bike propped up against a ruined old building.  It was a weirdly beautiful but sad scene, and it was difficult not to start pondering what happened to the owners of both.

    Tags photography Diabaig Wester Ross Torridon ruin bike rusty

    Learning to Scramble - Day 2 - Diabaig

    As a seasoned hillwalker in Scotland I’m well accustomed to taking my hands out of my pockets and getting them dirty on big gnarly ridges.  But the exposure and technical difficulty on some routes still sends me packing.  To help overcome this I recently spent three days up north with guide, Sam Owens, learning how to ‘scramble’.

    Thursday - Meall Ceann na Creige, Diabaig, Wester Ross

    Thursday morning dawned murky but bright, if that’s not too much of a contradiction?  We weren’t too perturbed by the claggy weather at the hut in Glen Torridon though, as we’d mulled over our scrambling options the night before.

    The weather up high still looked grim but, as it was forecast to improve markedly on Friday, if we were going to do something big like An Teallach or Liathach then that was the day to do it.

    That seemed logical to all three of us, but Sam was none the less keen for me and David to choose where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do.   He’d outlined a few options and we eventually opted for something in between what we might do on Friday, and what we’d already done on the Fiacaill Ridge.

    …More

    Tags Wester Ross Diabaig Torridon Liathach climbing scrambling Gille Brighde Meall Ceann na Creige hills mountains

    The mossy green goodness of the Loch Leven heritage trail Stand by..... LIFT OFF!!!

    I had another pedal around Loch Leven’s 12 mile trail today, and was treated to a big Loch Leven lift-off of pink-footed geese.

    These pics show the ‘before and after’ as the strange, charcoal-like line of geese on the water suddenly filled the sky.  After a few minutes they settled in a field just outside Milnathort.

    If you’ve never seen and heard a sky full of honking geese, you haven’t lived ;-)

    Tags birds nature wildlife pink footed geese Loch Leven NNR Milnathort Kinross

    Learning to Scramble - Day 1 - Fiacaill Ridge

    As a seasoned hillwalker in Scotland I’m well accustomed to taking my hands out of my pockets and getting them dirty on big gnarly ridges.  But the exposure and technical difficulty on some routes still sends me packing.  To help overcome this I recently spent three days up north with guide, Sam Owens, learning how to ‘scramble’.

    image

    When someone offers you the chance to climb one of the most iconic and sought after hills in Scotland via one of the most arresting and teetering methods…..what do you say?

    You say….“YES!”  Obviously.  In as excited a voice as you can manage.

    Such was my good fortune and my reaction  a few months ago when photographer & writer David Lintern asked if I’d like to be his climbing buddy for three days in August.

    The motivation behind this offer centred upon a climber based at Glenmore Lodge, one Sam Owens.  Sam has steadily been acquiring experience as a qualified Summer ML (Mountain Leader), Winter ML and guiding overseas, and at the time was on the cusp of getting his MIA (Mountaineering Instructor Award).

    He has been working towards this for almost a decade now.  As you can imagine, the assessment is rigorous and painstaking, and even before you get that far you need to have acquired as many ‘client days’ as you can.  These are days on the hill where you’re leading and guiding people less experienced than you.

    Sam was keen to rack up as many days as possible and, after meeting David on a Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) scrambling course on Skye earlier in the year, suggested to David that they head off and try some more scrambling.  Somewhere up north.

    At this point I should probably clarify what ‘scrambling’ is.

    …More

    Tags Liathach An Teallach Fiacaill Ridge Cairngorms hills mountains climbing scrambling Torridon

    Does Loch Tay have the best light in Scotland?

    image

    That’s a question that’s sure to invite responses and alternatives from pretty much everywhere in the country, I’m sure.  And that’s to be expected given the variety of landscapes, weather, clouds and precipitation we get.  Plus of course there’s the extra bonus of our seasons and the way they interact with the landscape, in particular that beautiful dim winter light we get.

    So there are, naturally, plenty of contenders.  Torridon would be near the top of my list, for example.  And yet…..of all the hillwalking hotspots around Scotland, one in particular keeps on delivering the goods.  Or at least it does so for MY cameras.

    …More

    Tags Loch Tay Scotland Photography Ben Lawers

    Autumn is here and the Lomond Hills are buzzing!

    image

    Well, there’s no mistaking that autumn has arrived.  After a unseasonably mild and dry September, autumn stormed its way into the start of October……quite literally.

    Early yesterday morning I didn’t really get much sleep what with the roaring wind and lashing rain on the window.  A chilly 7C with sustained 35mph winds and a wintry wind chill left us in doubt summer has finally left these shores.

    The summer visitors have long since departed, however.  I’ve not seen a swallow for a couple of weeks, the curlews disappeared weeks ago and the skylarks are nowhere to be seen.

    And yet, there is still so much to see in the uplands of the Lomond Hills.

    Read More

    Tags wildlife Lomond Hills Fife

    Reblogged from Wildfife.com 

    The aqueduct / footbridge in Almondell & Calderwood Country Park. Constructed in 1821, it carries water for the Union Canal out of and over the River Almond, before joining the canal a few miles downstream.
Hidden in a river valley right on the edge of Livingston, many people don’t even know the country park is there!
Related articles: Benigmatic Scotland: Edinburgh’s Canal - A bit of history

    The aqueduct / footbridge in Almondell & Calderwood Country Park. Constructed in 1821, it carries water for the Union Canal out of and over the River Almond, before joining the canal a few miles downstream.

    Hidden in a river valley right on the edge of Livingston, many people don’t even know the country park is there!

    Related articles: Benigmatic Scotland: Edinburgh’s Canal - A bit of history

    Tags West Lothian bridge aqueduct union canal Almondell Almondell and Calderwood Country Park