Very pleased to say a few words about my 7 years as Chairwoman and take a bit of time out to look over what has happened both before and since for NEMT, for Scotland – and even for me! As I was on the Mountain Views Editorial Team, mainly Will Campbell, Denis Wilson and myself since 1990, this made sure I kept up with what was going on. Back in 2002 the Scottish Parliament was finding its feet, with their Land Reform (Scotland) Bill coming into law in 2003 and the Funicular Railway had just opened in 2001. NEMT battled hard to prevent the Funicular but the £26 million was duly spent to build it and yet it has now been closed since 2018 with the future uncertain.
How hard we all worked in the “noughties” on consultations concerning mountain areas including the setting up of the Cairngorms National Park in 2003 and the writing of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. 2002 was the International Year of the Mountains with NEMT holding our own event out at Ballater. Maureen Stuchbury made such a good job of organising our winter lectures series throughout this time and I don’t forget what a challenge all this voluntary work could be at times. There always was, and no doubt still is, the battle to recruit more NEMT member clubs and seek out active individuals who will play a part in supporting NEMT and its work to maintain the true values of our mountains.
My own work with REMIN (Scotland) Ltd is now all consuming, focusing on linking the health of our soils to our food to ourselves, this in a year when the Covid-19 virus has ravaged so much of life as we used to know it. The mountains are still our ultimate sanctuary however and I would encourage anyone who values hill walking and mountaineering to get involved and play a part.
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