Knoydart, Knapdale and the Northwest

Last week I indulged in an extremely risky activity – I allocated  a week’s precious annual leave to holiday in Scotland in October. The gamble paid off; my week coincided with something of an Indian summer. The photos accompanying this post give a flavour of the highlights…………….. The week kicked off with trip to Glen […]

Beware the burning beard

Posted by on Mar 16, 2010 in Nature | One Comment

Do you have a favourite tinder? Some prefer cotton wool or birch bark shavings, others favour the lint from their tumble drier. Availability plays a large part in determining such preference and here in the clean air of the highlands the trees hang heavy with my own tinder of choice, beard lichen. I was lucky […]

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. […]

Alone in the Wild

Posted by on Sep 13, 2009 in Nature, TV and Film | 2 Comments

Take one man, issue him with a camera, drop him in the midst of grizzly country and leave him there, fretting about the risk of bear attack, for three months. This is the wonderfully simple formula for the Channel 4 series ‘Alone in the Wild’, the first episode of which was broadcast on Thursday night. California’s High […]

Pioneering Puffins on Handa Island

Posted by on Jul 12, 2009 in Islands, Nature | One Comment

Back in June we took a trip to the Handa Island nature reserve. It is located off the northwest coast, near to the village of Scourie. Access is granted by a small motorboat capable of carrying ten or so passengers. It was the prospect of viewing puffins that drew us there. I am very glad […]


Posted by on Jul 12, 2009 in Landscape, Nature | No Comments

The banner photo above was taken when descending from Ben Cruachan after a day’s winter climbing. For a few moments we stood transfixed as the alpenglow turned our world a deep, vivid pink. As the weak February sun sank lower the colour faded away as suddenly as it had appeared. Among the purple shadows and […]