July 23

Sunshine in the Scottish Highlands

Just to prove that it doesn’t always rain in Scotland, here’s a little video of an overnighter in the central highlands, covering about 23miles and 8500ft of ascent. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the Scottish hills so benign – bright sunshine, not a breath of wind, and no midges, even at camp! Managing body temperature, food and water intake was the bigger challenge on this outing – my energy levels fluctuated in the heat and I didn’t use enough sun protection. The GG Gorilla is probably a little big for trips like this but the hip belt is so stable on the descents it really doesn’t matter.

Ben Lawyers brings home many issues around farming, hiker access, and hydro in conflict with one of the most important sites for rare flora in the world. Areas for regeneration are fenced off, which has kickstarted regrowth but means that animals are denied any grazing in these areas. Without restricting numbers through deer culling and denying sheep farmers access to land they have traditionally held, this is the only way of restoring any balance at all to the area. 9000 years of human intervention is a big legacy to deal with, but it would be a mistake to assume that there is no sense of place or wildness value at all here. Above the natural treeline, the mosses, rocks and alpine flowers reign supreme.

This post was written by Trail Ambassador David Lintern