NEMT Lectures – another successful season

From the politics of conservation, through wildlife, to the cutting edge of technical climbing, we have tried again to cater for a wide variety of interests in our winter lecture programme.

Who better to start the season than Drennan Watson [October 06 - The Future of the Cairngorms- a Reality Check] with a tour of the issues facing in the Cairngorms. From hill tracks to excessive snaring, from muir burn to global warming, Drennan outlined the challenges against a backdrop of what he sees as absurd land ownership arrangements and un-integrated planning.

With the release of the ‘Rhapsody’ DVD, Dave MacLeod was bound to draw one of our biggest audiences [November 06 - Eleven Plus]. Through photos and footage of ‘that route’, ‘The Hurting’ and other masterpieces, Dave gave an insight into the commitment, fitness and sheer hard work required to push the boundaries of technical climbing forward. The seriousness of these endeavours, set in the context of their meaning for him, was offset by Dave’s humorous delivery.

Andy Hall [December 06 - A Sense of Belonging to Scotland] was wrong to wonder if his photos of scenes and landscapes, reflecting the favourite places of famous Scots, would be of interest to hill-goers. Andy’s superb photographs of beaches & mountains, glens & lochs captured the varied beauty which draws us to the outdoors & highlighted the patience & skill needed to capture it on film.

Bob Reid [January 07 - The Access Legislation- Working for Scotland?], who chairs the National Access Forum, described the workings of the legislation, its successes and the challenges still to be addressed. Bob considers the legislation and code not only to be and effective mechanisms for clarify rights and responsibilities and resolving disputes but also forces for civic good - the encouragement to walk having the potential to improve our psychological and physical wellbeing.

Greg Strange [February 07 - From Dylan to Madonna- The Quickening Pace of Cairngorm Climbing], the author of the soon to be published history of mountaineering in the Cairngorms, gave us a tantalising taster of what we can look forward to. His lecture, with historically important photos of first ascents and those that made them, focussed on the second great wave of exploration from the late 1960s to the 1980s from the perspective of someone who was part of it.

The richness of the flora and fauna on our doorstep and the pleasures in observing our natural heritage was the theme of Ellice Milton’s lecture [March 07 - Donside Seasons]. The quality of the photography was stunning. It served as a reminder that what we have in the North East is as varied and exciting as anything that can be found anywhere else in the world and that we should treasure it.

Thanks to all our speakers, as well as giving pleasure, the lectures serve to publicise NEMT’s work. Ideas are already coming in for next winter and these are welcome. Please send suggestions to

George Allan, NEMT Lecture Organiser

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