1. Lonely Loch Errochty – Cameron McNeish reflects on the scars that man leaves behind on the landscape as he comes across the remnants of farm buildings alongside Loch Errochty, before being confronted by the dam at Trinfour.
  2. ¬†Just a minute, Mr Naismith, can this be right? – Outdoor news website, Grough, is challenging¬† a century old walking rule. Naismith’s rule is used by most walkers to estimate the time it will take to complete a trip.¬† However, it always assumes we will descend quicker then we ascend a hill taking no account of steepness of gradient. Grough is exploring an aspect of hillwalking that many of us have thought about for a long time – steep descents can slow us down.
  3. Mornington Crescent (South Down Rules) – Obviously a fan of the panel game that beats all other panel games, Alan Sloman takes a wry look at place names in the South Downs. Warning – if you are not a Radio 4 listener this particular blogpost will make no sense at all. Thinking about it, even for many Radio 4 listeners, Mornington Crescent makes no sense at all.
  4. Trail Magazine are running their Homemade Mountain Movie Awards again this year encouraging amateurs to submit a 3 minute film with a hillwalking theme. You might not be tempted to take your video camera with you on your next expedition but you can take a look at some of the early entries on the website. I would recommend the trek on Mount Toukbal.
  5. Outdoor Blips is an American based outdoor aggregation site that has a fair number of UK blogs listed, many I hadn’t come across before. If you are looking for something a bit different some of the US sites highlighted are worth a look. Some of the sites focusing on the US National Parks have great photographs that make you long to be in the depths of Yosemite this summer.
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Modern wind energy plant in rural scenery.
Image via Wikipedia

I have been thinking about joining the newly revamped Scottish Wild Land Group for the last few months. A rash of new stories about the onward march of windfarms backed by their environmental apologists has spurred me into action.

This week alone there have been stories about:

  1. New plans to erect 59 turbines above Dufftown in the heart of whisky country.

  2. Both the UK and Scottish Government’s determination to push ahead with renewable (meaning more windfarms) energy. Why is it politicians seem to believe that windfarms are the only renewable option avaialble to us.

  3. The Peak District National Park Authority losing a court appeal to prevent plans for a windfarm just outside the park boundary that would have a significant visual impact within the national park.

I am not against the use of wind power, I think there are some great examples of where there siting has had minimal or no major impact on the local area. For example, the Scratby Sands Windfarm off the coast of Norfolk near Great Yarmouth. However, there are plenty of examples of inappropriate development that is scarring our countryside all in the name of the environment.

The SWLG seem to be an effective organisation in camapaignng to protect and conserve Scottish wild land. Summed up in the following four points from their website:

  • SWLG campaigns on the wider political issues

  • SWLG makes detailed contributions to national and local government proposals

  • SWLG responds to individual developments

  • SWLG believes in action – not reaction

  • As a member I hope I can play a part in furthering these aims.

    Recommended links:

    Scottish Wild Land Group

    Chris Townsend Blogpost on the SWLG 

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