News

Latest news stories from ScotWays.

Donald Bennet, 1928 - 2013

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ScotWays is very sad to report the death on 7th February of Dr Donald Bennet OBE.  Donald, a passionate lifelong mountaineer, was a Director of the Society from 1989, a dynamic and hugely industrious Chairman from 1992 to 2000, and Honorary President from 2000 to 2004.  His work for ScotWays included the celebrations to mark our 150th anniversary, the revision and re-publication of Scottish Hill Tracks, sustained representation on the Access Forum, and the fostering of close relations with the Countryside Commission for Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.  Even after a disabling stroke in 2001, Donald kept up his regular attendance at AGMs in his wheelchair.  Many members will also have benefited from Donald's assiduous efforts in writing and editing guidebooks for the Scottish Mountaineering Trust - not least the very successful guides to the Munros and Corbetts. A fuller obituary and appreciation will appear in our Summer Newsletter.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Donald's wife Anne, who has cared for him most selflessly throughout his years of disability, and to their family.

Land Reform Review

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ScotWays Chairman, George Menzies, recently submitted our response to the Land Reform Review Group. The submission relates to Part 1 of the Act, and if you wish to read it, it is now available from the Downloads section of the ScotWays website.

Our response is also available, along with many others, on Andy Wightman's Land Matters website, here. It's well worth a visit.

Happy New Year! It's the January sale!

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Happy New Year to one and all!


You might like to start the year with a bargain. If that is so, why not take a look at our reduced Christmas cards, now down to £2.50 for a pack of ten? If you're quick, you'll be ready for next Christmas!

There are four designs currently available:

- Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe) and over to Beinn Alligin

- From Craigmore towards Ben Lomond 

- Paps of Jura from Kilmory

- View from Summit of Meall Ghaordaidh, Perthshire

Also, you may have missed that our Law Guide is currently available at half price - £5, down from £10.

Postage is a flatrate of £1.50 (UK) no matter how much you order from our webshop, so why not stock-up?


Many thanks for your continuing support.

Christmas and New Year at ScotWays

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The ScotWays office will close on Friday 21st December 2012, and re-open on Monday 7th January 2013.

General rights of way and access enquiries: We are working really hard to answer as many enquiries as possible before Christmas, but unfortunately as we are very busy at present some of you may have to wait until the New Year to receive a response.

ScotWays webshop: Once the office is closed, we will not be processing any more orders until we re-open in the New Year. The good news is that there'll probably then be a sale offer on our remaining Christmas cards!

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 for two weeks over Christmas and New Year, search requests received after 14th December may not be completed until after we re-open in the New Year. If your search request is urgent, please contact us before we close for the holidays to discuss when we will be able to complete it.

Office volunteers: The office will be closed for two weeks over Christmas and the New Year, so please take a well earned break! Very many thanks for all your hard work, we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at 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, www.heritagepaths.co.uk, 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: http://www.heritagepaths.co.uk/pathdetails.php?path=385.



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: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nph0m/Out_of_Doors_03_11_2012/. If you don't have time to listen to whole show, the bridge feature starts about 45 minutes in.
- BBC News website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-20186307.
- TCV Scotland blog: http://blogs.tcv.org.uk/tcv-scotland/2012/10/29/bridge-installation-in-the-fintry-hills/
- TCV Scotland blog update 3rd December: http://blogs.tcv.org.uk/tcv-scotland/2012/12/03/bridge-over-frozen-river/.