Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Camp, Islands, Landscape | One Comment

Campsite at Balephetrish Back in May 2011 I set off with family and friends for a cycling tour to the islands of Col and Tiree. Our visit to Col coincided with severe storms that caused devastation across Scotland, as featured in the recent BBC series ‘Hebrides: Islands on the Edge’. I watched the programme with […]

Bog wood: the Caledonian forest and climate change

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Books, Climate, Human Origins, Landscape | 3 Comments

Exposed bogwood on the shores of the channel between Loch Bad an Sgalaig and Dubh Loch, near Gairloch Anyone who has wandered the Scottish hills must have at some point been perplexed by the presence of bog wood, preserved tree stumps with radiating roots that protrude from the peat in what appear nowadays to be […]

A brief history of Scotland up to 1000 BC

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in Human Origins, Landscape | 4 Comments

 Ice age Earth at glacial maximum. Based on: “Ice age terrestrial carbon changes revisited” by Thomas J. Crowley (Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 9, 1995, pp. 377-389 I spent part of the Christmas break reading ‘The Scots: A Genetic Journey’ by Alistair Moffat and James F. Wilson. In this excellent book Moffat and Wilson review the recent […]

Landscape and identity: Bruce Chatwin’s ‘The Songlines’

Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 in Books, Landscape | 6 Comments

Wildflower meadows at the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock). The photos that accompany this post were taken when I traveled in Australia in 1998 My plan when I started this blog back in 2009 was to use it to as a platform on which to explore the connections that exist between landscape and identity. Such […]

Glen Roy: landscape interpretation through the ages

Posted by on Oct 18, 2011 in Landscape, West Highlands | One Comment

View up Glen Roy from the viewpoint. The famous Parallel Roads are discernible if you look hard enough. The Scottish landscape as we know it  – the shape of the hills, the contours of the land, the courses of the rivers – has existed for around 10,000 years, since the ice melted at the end of the […]

Scottish tourism revenues: how much does huntin’ fishin’ and shootin’ really contribute?

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in Commentary, Landscape | 2 Comments

The topic of land ownership in Scotland is one that I have tackled on a number of previous occasions on this blog, for it is an important issue and one that affects all hill goers whether they notice it or not. I’m going to revisit these issues this week, armed with some hard numbers about […]

Some thoughts on land ownership

Posted by on Jul 4, 2011 in Commentary, Landscape | 3 Comments

Recently added fence on the summit of Carn nan tri-Tighearnan, a very visible symbol of land ownership I can vividly remember the first time I became fully conscious of the concept of land ownership. It was 1998 and I was sitting in a cafe cum bookshop in Antigua Guatemala, relaxing with a litre bottle of […]

Prehistoric bothy trips

Kiloran Bay, Colonsay. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of large scale hazlenut processing by mesolithic hunter-gatherers I’ve always been more interested in prehistory than in history. Up until quite recently there has been very little reading matter on the topic, however  recent advances in science are allowing us to build up a far more complete picture […]

Fresh insights into the glaciation of Scotland: Tom Bradwell at the Inverness Field Club

Posted by on Mar 2, 2010 in Climate, Earth, Landscape | No Comments

  A couple of weeks ago I attended one of the Inverness Field Club‘s winter lectures. Despite having very nearly used up half my biblical allocation, I was the youngest person in the audience by a considerable margin. I had been coaxed into this gathering of the grey-haired, this amalgamation of the aged, this exhibition of the elderly, […]

An alternative to Alladale

Posted by on Feb 2, 2010 in Commentary, Landscape, Nature | 3 Comments

Might independence be a necessary precursor to the reintroduction of wolves to the Scottish hills? This week’s post discusses deer management, re-wilding, access and land reform. Monday brought the dismaying news that the local licensing committee have renewed Paul Lister’s license to keep 17 wild boar and 2 elk in a fenced enclosure on his Alladale Estate. […]