Last year, we were alerted to new building work in Glen Slugain close to the original “hidden howif’. The original finder, was not against simple shelters to save climbers the slog of going back down only to return the next morning, but thought that “the scale of the construction appeared inappropriate to the area”.

This is very much NEMT’s view and we set about trying to find out more about it. This proved remarkably difficult. We didn’t want to tread on the toes of any local climbing club activity but were very concerned about the intrusion into an area of wildness and considerable natural beauty. There was speculation that it was a form of shooting hut, although it seemed a little rudimentary for such purposes, e.g. lacking a fridge to keep the champagne cold.

In the end, having drawn a series of blanks, we contacted the National Park Authority, who took the matter up with the estate. The estate denied all knowledge, which is interesting in itself. Some of the materials in use are sizeable and it’s difficult to believe that these could have been transported up there without the estate knowing. On the other side of the coin, I can see no reason why the estate would have any interest in allowing a rudimentary howif to be built up there. It’s too basic to appeal to well-heeled shooters. I leave you to draw your own conclusions. The Park Authority have agreed with the estate that all building work should stop. Rather than waste public funds on removing the materials, most of which are locally sourced stone, it was agreed that the building should be allowed to fall down. A representative of the Park Authority was there when the matter was discussed with the estate and has agreed to check later this year to see that building work hasn’t resumed.

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