Guide to hunting and trapping in Scotland
OneKind has produced a booklet which it calls 'a unique guide to wildlife persecution in Scotland'. What will be of particular interest to readers of Mountain Views is that it identifies which traps etc are illegal. The booklet cost £3 and is available online.
Heart of Scotland Forest
The John Muir Trust has reported they have planted 1,000 new trees near the car park at the Braes of Foss, Schiehallion. A conifer plantation covering 3 hectares was felled and extracted; following on from this, a new deer fence is being installed and this area will be replanted. Work has started on an electric fence going out to Glen Mhor that will enclose a further 72 hectares - this will allow for natural regeneration.
Mend Our Mountains Appeal
In the UK, over £330,000 has been raised for this appeal, and in Scotland donations currently stand in the region of £35,000. The aim is to increase this latter sum to £100,000 and to use it for path repairs on Beinn a' Ghlo and Ben Vane.
Of note is the payment of £1 by the Munro Society. However that's £1 per metre for the qualifying height of a Munro. When the Society, open to anyone who has climbed all the Munros, chose to support the campaign, they decided to give £3 for each of their 300 members - and then topped it up to make £914.40, that being pound-per-metre the metric height of a Munro.
Details of how to get involved and how to donate are on the Mountaineering Scotland website.
Green Hydro Scheme at Balmoral
The Cairngorms National Park Authority Planning Committee granted approval to Balmoral Estate for the construction of a hydro scheme on the River Muick. The site for the scheme lies 7km southwest of Ballater on the west bank of the Muick. The planning application sought permission for an intake structure, buried pipeline, powerhouse and access tracks. The papers for this application can be found online and in the board minutes.
These include not only the main recommendation of approval but also the recommended conditions.
Hydro Threat to Glen Etive Hut
The Grampian Club has objected to a proposed hydro scheme that could jeopardise the future of their popular hut at Inbhirfhaolain in Glen Etive. Many of our members and affiliated clubs have used this hut over a number of years, and may wish to add their objections to the planning application. The application serial number is 18/02740/FUL.
Coul Links Golf Course
Two American businessmen are proposing to build a new golf course at Coul Links, north of Inverness near Dornoch. This area of sand dunes to the south of Loch Fleet is a heavily protected site, but Highland Council has granted planning permission swayed by the promise of lots of jobs. Everybody would agree that the Dornoch area needs jobs and the associated economic boost, but not this way. Remember Donald Trump's promises of jobs at Menie? He has created a situation where SNH are considering de-designating the site and the promised economic benefits have completely failed to appear - the worst of both worlds. NEMT has written to Kevin Stewart, the Planning Minister to call in the planning application for review and also to local MSPs to get them to prod him to do the right thing. Given the current Government's record in balancing development and the environment, this might only be a temporary stay of execution, but allows a consortium of environmental groups to continue the fight.
Public Inquiry (Feb/March 2019) - webcast and papers
Solar Power Records Broken
According to figures released by WWF Scotland, the amount of electricity generated from solar power during the recent heatwave in June broke all records. In Aberdeen and Lerwick, increases of 60% and 25% were recorded due to both increased numbers of solar panels and the high temperatures and clear blue skies. Across the UK, solar power generation is growing fast, mainly due to the rapidly declining cost of the solar panels themselves and also the financial incentives offered by the Government subsidy schemes. Small scale domestic solar power generation has grown by a factor of over 40 since 2011 and there is a steady stream of industrial size proposals, e.g. the proposed scheme for a disused airfield in Moray. This is all good news. While not wanting to see the countryside covered in solar panels, I welcome anything that reduces the pressure to build wind farms across our mountains.
Cairngorms Nature Action Plan
The CNPA has come up with another document for consultation, the nature action plan. This is described as an opportunity for people and organisations to work together to support and enhance nature in the Park over the next five years. NEMT will be commenting on this and we will publish a summary of our comments in the next issue.
Cairngorms Nature Action Plan
An Camus Mor proposal, Rothiemurchus Estate
Controversial plans to build these 1,500 homes in the Cairngorms have been given planning permission in principle. The Cairngorm National Park Planning Committee gave their permission at a meeting in Aviemore. Convenor Eleanor Mackintosh said there was a need for new housing in the park and that an Camus Mor met that need. She said "today's decision is one stage in the process and our planning team will continue to work with the applicants and other interested parties on preparation of a masterplan for the new community". The Cairngorms Campaign said the new plan is a threat to wildlife especially to the capercaille whose breeding grounds are in the vicinity of the new village.
The Cairngorms Campaign claims restraints on access over large areas are unavoidable
if the new town goes ahead. An example of this is the inviting track from the
new town site & National Cycle Route 7 into countryside and capercaille
habitat. The CPNA introduced the Habitats Regulations Appraisal onto their website
a week before the planning decision. I recommend The Cairngorm Campaigner
which is the Newsletter for the Cairngorms
Heading for the Hill service SNH
This website service is provided by SNH. This helps you find out where this is taking place during the stag stalking season (1st July to 20th October, but with most stalking from August onwards), so you can plan routes that minimise the chance of disturbing stalking, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
SNH are using imagery produced by satellites run by the European Space Agency are helping to track wildfires every 2 -3 days using high quality imagery. Dr Graham Sullivan, uplands adviser with Scottish Natural Heritage said: "Healthy peatlands hold onto carbon, preventing its release into the atmosphere to trap heat from the sun. Wildfires burn off carbon that's been stored for thousands of years, and by burning the plants incorporated into the peat that store carbon, wildfire reduces the bogs ability to store more. Satellite imagery can play a vital part when were working these habitats to recover. Having information on a wildfire's severity helps us target actions that can aid recovery of vegetation. This can include something as seemingly simple as deciding whether and when sheep are allowed to graze will dictate if heather recovers or purple moor grass takes over."
GDPR and Your Privacy
Along with many other organizations, NEMT has considered its obligations under the recent GDPR regulations. Our current practices are appropriate, and our privacy notice can be found on our website. Please contact us at email@example.com or call 01224 733710 you have any queries.
Cotswold Outdoor Discount
Joining NEMT, as well as being vital in supporting our campaigning work, does carry other benefits, and we have now renegotiated members' discount for Cotswold Outdoor. This is 15%, available at the Aberdeen branch or online, online including Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need. To obtain the necessary code, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01224 733710. NB this is for individual members only, and you must produce your membership card instore. We are updating details of other discounts and will let you know as soon as possible.
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