Latest news stories from ScotWays.

A first Christmas for Scottish Hill Tracks!

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It's Scottish Hill Tracks first Christmas!

It's been a great year for Scottish Hill Tracks, and seeing as the all new fifth edition was finally published in January then this is its first Christmas! If you haven't bought a copy already, then why not add it to your Christmas list? And if you've treated yourself to the book already, you'll know what a great Christmas gift it'll make... just imagine spending the festive season plotting outdoor adventures for the coming year, that is if you're not out and about exploring...

Buying Scottish Hill Tracks also supports the work of ScotWays. It is widely available through bookshops, but if you buy it directly from ScotWays, the charity receives more money from the sale. We sell the book at its recommended retail price of £18, but it is also available to ScotWays members at a discounted rate of £15.

Don't just take our word for it that Scottish Hill Tracks is great, here's what some other folk have said:

"It's hard to pick up a copy of Scottish Hill Tracks without reaching for an OS map and a rucksack. Every page is a beckoning finger; a call to the bealachs." - from the foreword by Nicholas Crane

"Scottish Hill Tracks for me has been a really important book, it's an enticing book because it's full of promise" - Helen Needham, Out of Doors, BBC Radio Scotland

"This smart new edition of the long-established guide from the world's oldest national access organisation is, like its predecessors, the bible of such publications. Just the right size for the pocket or rucsac, nicely illustrated with quality colour photographs and sectional maps and enough detail to ensure you enjoy your day out with the minimum of bother. Every route appears to have been recently checked and the presentation is first class." - Alexander McQuarrie, online book review

Heritage Paths in the Campsie Fells - a new bridge for Central Scotland

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The Heritage Paths Project is currently building a bridge which will create the first off-road walking route across Central Scotland

People will soon be able to walk straight through the centre of Scotland thanks to a grant of £22,800 from the Brown Forbes Memorial Fund (BFMF) and £4,600 from Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER. The new bridge over the Burnfoot Burn in the Endrick Valley, will be 11m long and 2m wide, and will link with existing paths to enable an off-road route between Kilsyth and Kippen. 

The Heritage Paths Project is funded by ScotWays with support from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and has been working to research historic routes in the Campsie Fells area for the last two years with a view to improving access along them. The countryside of the Campsie Fells has, for a long time, been difficult to access, with few established routes to allow meaningful exploration of the area.  The new Heritage Paths bridge will open up a route into – and through – the heart of the Campsies, encouraging more people to access the stunning natural beauty of the area.    

The bridge will be built by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), which has a long track record with environmental infrastructure projects in its previous incarnation as the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.  The bridge will be constructed by volunteers drawn from local path groups managed by TCV. 

Neil Ramsay, our Heritage Paths Project Officer, said: “This is an incredibly exciting development in the project as this bridge is the last missing link. Existing routes such as the West Highland Way are so well known and well travelled and now we can offer people the chance of a new challenge, in new surroundings – to explore the Campsie Fells and its beautiful landscapes. The generous funding from both the Brown Forbes Memorial Fund and Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER is a great boost to the project and will allow the Scottish walking community as well as visitors to enjoy a new walking experience right across the heart of the country.” 

The historic aspects of these paths are promoted through the Heritage Paths website,, so that people travelling these routes today can learn about the way people used these routes in centuries gone by and can thus enjoy a richer and fuller experience. The new bridge is being built on the Spout of Ballochleam route which lies between the Fintry and Gargunnock Hills; more information and pictures can be found here:

Further press reports about the bridge:
- The building of the new bridge featured on Radio Scotland's Out Of Doors programme on Saturday 3rd November. If you'd like to listen to the broadcast, it's available on the BBC iPlayer until early on Saturday 10th November: If you don't have time to listen to whole show, the bridge feature starts about 45 minutes in.
- BBC News website:
- TCV Scotland blog:
- TCV Scotland blog update 3rd December:

ScotWays Christmas cards available now!

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New ScotWays Christmas Cards for 2012, available now!

We have three brand new designs this year; Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe) and over to Beinn Alligin by Iain Dow, From Craigmore towards Ben Lomond by Jean Jack and Suilven and Canisp by Richard Doake. A fourth design, Paps of Jura from Kilmory, was in such demand last year, we have decided to print a similar view this year. All four designs are sure to prove popular, so order soon to avoid disappointment.

The packs of Christmas cards contain 10 cards (approx 15cm x 10cm) of a single design, plus envelopes. They are available to buy from our online shop: Alternatively, you can send a cheque, made payable to ScotWays, to our office at 24 Annandale Street, Edinburgh. Please remember to add a flat rate of £1.50 per order to help cover postage and packing.  If you want to avoid the postage and packing charge, why not pop into our office on Annandale Street? Do give us a ring to let us know you are coming though, so we can make sure there is someone here to let you in!

Remember, 100% of profits from the sale of our cards go directly to ScotWays funds, so why not take a look at our packs of note cards too? They make great stocking fillers. Incidentally, another previously popular Christmas card Corrour Station from Loch Ossian by Jim Crosthwaite, has been reprinted as a note card.

**STOP PRESS** If you are looking for a bargain we have very limited stock of last year's Meall Ghaordaidh Christmas card, but they are going fast too so get your order in quick!

Commemorating George & Nancy Cheyne - a new bridge

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The new bridge over the infant Tyne below Crichton Castle was visited by the Cheyne and Sandeman families on Saturday 6 October. The bridge had been funded from the residue of the Cheyne Bequest, given to honour the memory of their father George Cheyne (who had been secretary and chairman of the Scottish Rights of Way Society in the thirties and forties respectively), and their mother Nancy Sandeman - who by happy coincidence would have been exactly 100 years old on the day, had she lived.


Nancy sounds to have been a loving and sensible wife; she insisted that George wear a proper suit to his lawyer's office, rather than the kilt which he wore the rest of the time. His son Peter kept up the family tradition on the day; a fine Sutherland hunting tartan. Brother Colin and sister Mary also attended, as well as some thirty members of the extended family.


It was a fine sunny day; the bridge and the country looked at their best. Several members of the family walked towards Borthwick Castle using the right of way, and were rewarded with fine views of the Pentlands - their father's stamping ground when he first came to Edinburgh.


ScotWays was represented on the day by John Pope and Eleisha Fahy - we were made most welcome by the family, who seemed pleased with the results of our efforts.


Thanks are due to Midlothian Council - especially James Kinch - and their rangers Jo Cooke and Alan Krumholds, the volunteers, in particular Ian Brown, and the criminal Justice team, who lifted the heavy timbers down to the site.

Cheyne Bridge over the infant Tyne near Crichton Castle 

- Article written by John Pope, image by Ian Brown

For others who would also like to walk the right of way between Crichton and Borthwick Castles, ScotWays Director John Pope has produced a guide to the route, which is available from the downloads section of our website.

Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend

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The ScotWays office will close on Friday 1st June 2012, and reopen on Wednesday 6th May 2012.

General rights of way and access enquiries: We are currently receiving a huge number of enquiries, and we are working hard to answer as many as possible before the office closes for the long weekend. Unfortunately, we will not manage to respond to everyone, in which case we apologise for the delay in our response. If you are concerned not to have heard from us, please do feel free to drop us a line via post or email and we will be in touch once the office has re-opened

Rights of way searches for solicitors, land managers and developers: We are currently meeting our target of responding to all rights of way search requests within 5 working days of receiving them in our office, unless another deadline has been agreed. As our office will be closed over the long weekend, search requests received after 25th May may not be completed until after the holiday. If your search request is urgent, please contact us to discuss when we will be able to complete it.

John Dow, 1922 - 2012

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ScotWays is saddened to hear of the recent death of John Dow, at the age of 89.

John Dow may be best remembered for participating in almost 100 sorties for the RAF during World War II, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Flying Medal. In later years, John became an active supporter of the Society, and he was out virtually every week making a point of walking rights of way in order to help safeguard their status. A keen participant in our Walks programme, he also cycled from Land's End to John o' Groats at the age of 72.

We are grateful to John for his contribution to our work.