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Latest news stories from ScotWays.

ScotWays Christmas cards!

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New ScotWays Christmas Cards for 2013!

We have four brand new designs this year; Arkle reflected in Loch Stack by Nicola Howarth, Summit of West Cairn Hill, Pentlands by Debbie Ramage, Jock's Road by Iain Dow and Ben Nevis, north-east buttress by Alan MacQuarrie. 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, here. 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.

Organisations unite to call for enhanced wild land protection

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ScotWays is one eight organisations concerned with conservation, wild lands and access to the countryside which jointly issued an open letter in early July calling for greater protection for Scotland’s landscapes. The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, John Muir Trust, Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the Munro Society, National Trust for Scotland, Ramblers Scotland, the Scottish Rights of Way & Access Society (ScotWays)  and the Scottish Wild Land Group - between them representing over 350,000 members - welcomed moves by the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage to safeguard Scotland’s landscapes, but said that the existing proposals do not go far enough:

 

“We support the increased protection proposed for National Parks and National Scenic Areas, although this merely formalises the present de facto position. Such protection should apply also where development is proposed beyond their boundaries that would impact on the very qualities they were established to safeguard.”

 

In the letter, the organisations question whether or not the wording of the draft Scottish Planning Policy and National Planning Framework is tight enough:

 

“The current draft states that (in National Nature Reserves and other important areas) wind power developments will be acceptable ‘where it can be demonstrated that any significant effects on the qualities for which the area is identified can be substantially improved by siting, design or mitigation’. This will allow inappropriate developments to be approved because of lack of clarity in using subjective words such as ‘significant’ and ‘substantially’ when set against the primacy afforded in government policy to economic and energy development.”

 

The organisations also raise concern that local democratic processes may be undermined by national-level decision-making:

 

“If local authorities and their electorates think particular local landscapes are important then this should not be over-ridden nationally.”

 

 

The full letter will shortly be available from the Downloads page of this website, see tab above.

Borders Railway and the Crichton to Borthwick right of way

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Our Summer Newsletter included an article by John Pope (Chair of Midlothian Access Forum & ScotWays Director) outlining the work ScotWays has been doing to protect rights of way and other paths affected by the re-instated Borders Railway. 

In his article, John anticipated that the right of way from Crichton to Borthwick would be temporarily closed and soon. This route is John's favourite right of way, but finding its line can be tricky in places, so he has for some time been producing a short guide for those who wish to explore this beautiful and historically interesting right of way. A temporary crossing point over the former Waverley Line is now in place and John has kindly updated his guide - download it for free from the Downloads section of this website. 
 
 
Newsflash (May 2014): unfortunately we have to report that this right of way has been blocked by a deer fence. John Pope is in contact with Midlothian Council's access team about the matter. An update will be posted here as soon as we hear any more, but for the time being this ancient right of way is impassable.

Job Opportunity - Heritage Paths Officer (Fife)

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Heritage Paths Officer (Fife)

ScotWays seeks a Heritage Paths Officer to deliver a project on the feasibility of a path from St Andrews to Dunfermline. The project is the Fife Pilgrimage Route and will incorporate and link existing paths.

The post is part-time, based on 104 days, for which the salary is £10,000, and will complete by 31st March 2014. The person will be able to work independently and in close liaison with key partners, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust and Fife Council. Experience of landowner negotiation and path construction is essential.

For further details and an application form, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Forms to be submitted by email attachment by 3.00pm on 3rd June 2013.

ScotWays Walks Programme 2013

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The ScotWays Members' Walks programme 2013 kicked off on Wednesday 10th April in Cambusbarron. A great time was had by all - have you signed up for a walk yet this year?

One of the perks of ScotWays membership is the Members' Walks programme. This year's selection of nine walks includes a Scottish Hill Tracks route in Selkirkshire and a Heritage Paths walk near Newtonmore. Other gems in the programme include a walk along the River Tyne from Haddington to Dunbar and an outing with the Friends of the Pentlands along their planned Pentlands Way.

Places on these walks are available to ScotWays members only.  If you are not a ScotWays member, but are interested in our walks, then why not join us?

Numbers are strictly limited on all our walks, so book early to avoid disappointment!

ScotWays at Easter

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The ScotWays office will close on Thursday 28th March 2013, and reopen on Tuesday 2nd April 2013.

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 Easter break. 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 just 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 Easter, search requests received after 21st March 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.