Police name Cairn Gorm fall victim

Police have named the man who died in a fall in the Northern Corries of Cairn Gorm this week.Hugh Pitcairn was a 20-year-old mechanical engineering student at Bristol University.

12 January 2007

Chance to walk with Hinkes for top bidders

Five places are up for grabs on a walk around the Lakeland fells with mountain legend Alan Hinkes.Mr Hinkes, famous for crocking himself after choking on chapatti flour, as well as being the first Brit to conquer all the world’s 8,000m mountains, will lead the walk from Keswick in May.All you have to do is win a charity auction on eBay.

20 January 2007

Lancashire quarry ban looms for climbers

Climbers are facing a ban at a Lancashire quarry because of traffic problems.The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is warning that the owner of the popular climbing venue is threatening to close the land to climbers because of inconsiderate parking.The quarry, north of Pendle Hill, was for many years banned to cragrats and was only reopened after negotiation of an access agreement.

22 January 2007

Common opened up after 12 years

Campaigners are celebrating the opening up of common land 12 years after it was fenced off.A parish council has now taken possession of the land, near Storrs, west of Sheffield, on the edge of the Peak National Park.The Open Spaces Society (OSS) had supported Bradfield Parish Council’s bid to have Lee Moor Common, a two-acre site, opened up for the public.

25 January 2007

Cash-strapped Lakes body to shed staff

Lake District National Park staff have been told there will be redundancies following what the park authority calls ‘a major restructure’.Managers have started consultations with unions and staff before a decision is made by members of the Lake District National Park Authority in March.

01 February 2007

Scots outdoor groups line up against pylons

The inquiry into the controversial plans to build a new power line through some of Scotland’s most scenic country opened today.More than 17,000 objections to the scheme have been received so far, including submissions from mountaineering, walking and conservation groups.Local authorities and Scottish Natural Heritage are also opposing the plan, which would involve the renewal of the line from Beauly near Inverness to Denny, 137 miles away, near Stirling.

06 February 2007

RAF crew's tale of stricken rescue helicopter

With mountain rescue so prominent in much of the mainstream news media following this weekend’s incidents, there’s a timely insight into the work of one branch of our rescue services on the BBC website.A year ago, an RAF search-and-rescue crew was forced to leave its winchman on the side of a mountain in a blizzard, as weather conditions suddenly worsened.The aircraft crew then had to make a forced landing themselves as ice suddenly caused rotor-blade problems and the helicopter risked falling from the sky.The story by, Steven McKenzie, of Sea King XZ593’s mission to rescue a climber that itself became subject of a rescue, gives an insight into the world of the crews we hope we will never need to rely on and the horrific conditions they sometimes have to work in.The drama unfolded in the Coire an-t Sneachda, notorious now for the four deaths at the end of last year.You can read the story on the Highlands and Islands section of the BBC News website. .

12 February 2007

Police name Glencoe death-fall climber

Police have named the man who fell his death on Bidean nam Bian on Saturday.He was Laird McMaster, 34, of Inverkip in Inverclyde.

13 February 2007

Longridge campaigners go for green

Campaigners trying to save a Teesside wood say it should be classed as a village green.Kate Ashbrook (left) of the Open Spaces Society, which is backing residentsLongridge Wood at Marton, near Middlesbrough, is threatened by housing development.

14 February 2007

Ramblers' figurehead arrested on race charge

A Ramblers’ Association vice-president has been arrested on suspicion of racially abusing a woman.Police bailed Janet Street-Porter after questioning her when she voluntarily went to a north London police station.A spokesman said: “On 16 January, a 59-year-old woman attended a north London police station by appointment and was arrested in connection with an alleged racially aggravated public-order offence.“She was later bailed to return in February pending further inquiries.”Ms Street-Porter was president of the Ramblers’ Association between 1994 and 1997 and is now a vice-president, an honorary title accorded to those who have served as president.

17 January 2007

Highland casualty airlifted to hospital

A man was taken to hospital today after falling while on a Highland mountain.The unnamed casualty was airlifted by Royal Navy helicopter to Belford Hospital in Fort William after the incident in the Stob Coire Easain area near Roy Bridge, Lochaber.The alarm was raised early this afternoon and the aircrew from HMS Gannet flew the man to hospital.

20 January 2007

Ratho reopening put back to next month

The partial re-opening of the troubled Ratho Centre in Edinburgh has been put back to next month.The £30m centre, which went into receivership in 2004, was bought by Edinburgh City Council and is now being run by Edinburgh Leisure, a not-for-profit organisation.

24 January 2007

Brecon national park wants your pictures

The Brecon Beacons National Park is fifty this year and its authority wants your memories of living in the area.But, in common with many organisations now, the National Park Authority is on a rights-grab of any material submitted by the public.In essence, the authority wants you to sign over all rights if you send them photographs which end up winning its competition.

01 February 2007

Helicopter rescue for Crib Goch mountaineer

An RAF helicopter rescued a woman lost in the dark on Snowdon.The unnamed woman, from York, used her mobile phone to call for help when she became disoriented on Crib Goch.She rang the rescue services around 8pm last night and a search-and-rescue helicopter was scrambled from nearby RAF Valley on Anglesey.

07 February 2007

Fort William festival starts this week

Fort William hosts its annual mountain festival later this week.The fortnight of celebrations of everything to do with the pointy bits of our landscape kicks off (or should that be strides out?) on Friday with winter workshops on walking and avalanche awareness, a photography exhibition of Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition and writing workshops.There will also be the first viewing of the light show on the hillside of Meall an t-Slamain plus a lecture on white-water kayaking.

12 February 2007

Peak quarry inquiry hears objections

British Mountaineering Council representatives were at the opening of the public inquiry into the Longstone Edge quarry in the Peak District.Also at the hearing were former Labour deputy leader Lord Hattersley and Tory chief whip and local MP Patrick McLoughlin.The inspector told the packed meeting at Calver Village Hall that he would be basing his decision on the legal technicalities of the 1956 planning permission under which the quarry companies were operating.Objections were put to the inquiry by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Peak District National Park Authority and the Save Longstone Edge Group.

13 February 2007

Notorious Cuillins clan chief dies in London

The man who tried to sell the Cuillins for millions of pounds has died.John MacLeod of MacLeod caused outrage when he put the iconic Skye mountain range on the market for £10m.

14 February 2007

Scots Exec's 'no' to Cairngorms expansion

The Scottish Executive has knocked back plans to enlarge the Cairngorms National Park.Sarah Boyack, deputy environment minister, told MSPs that no change would be considered until the park’s five-year plan is reviewed next year.Campaigners, including the Perthshire Alliance for the Real Cairngorms, want to move the boundary to take in several areas which lie outside the present park.

15 February 2007


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