/ NEWS: 'Gore-Tex' Scottish National Trail Launches Today

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UKC News - on 30 Oct 2012
Cameron McNeish wearing the Mountain Hardwear DryQ Elite Drystein Jacket, in the rain!, 3 kbScotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is due to launch the so-called Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail in Edinburgh this afternoon

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67569
feepole - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Come on Dan, a little too much cynicism here surely!

Corporate sponsorship seems to be a necessary evil across all sectors of society these days. It'll be up to the public consciousness as to whether the 'Goretex' label sticks or finds itself getting ditched.

While it obviously has it's limitations as a route I think it's a very welcome initiative. And you never know - if we can increase public awareness of some of the wildest sections of the trail perhaps that might help galvanize public opinion against their destruction.
Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to feepole:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Come on Dan, a little too much cynicism here surely!

No, not enough cynicism. What's the point in these long distance trails anyway? With our access laws and our excellent OS maps, why can't people decide for themselves where they want to go if thery feel like going for a long walk? These trails will just result in unnecessary signposting and possibly crowds and erosion.

As for the wind farms (to which I presume you were referring), I actually quite like them (at least I've yet to see one which bothers me.)
AlH - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: Don't know Robert. The WHW and other trails whilst at times congested are managed to some extent and provide a 'reason to go' for many people who otherwise might never really experience a great deal of the outdoor environment that Scotland has to offer. Many tourists from overseas and at home venture on those trails because the guidebooks, maps and way marking give them confidence to do so. Without them their lack of skills or knowledge of where to start might mean that they never go walking. There are plenty of wild areas for the rest of us to visit but the fact that many people from the inner city get to experience Scotland might be useful when we are trying to convince Wee Alec and his cronies of the importance of not turning the country into a wind factory.
Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to AlH:
> Don't know Robert....... There are plenty of wild areas for the rest of us to visit............convince Wee Alec and his cronies of the importance of not turning the country into a wind factory.

......don't know either.......but I still can't help quite liking the wind farms!

feepole - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

What's the point in these long distance trails anyway?

I guess it's about raising awareness. I think Mr McNeish has spoken previously about the need to avoid signposting our wild landscapes, and once you get away from the main outdoor 'honeypots' there is the potential to get many more people out there appreciating our outdoors without having any significant negative impact (and potentially a modest positive financial impact on some parts of rural scotland which need it the most).

Afraid I can't agree on the wind turbines. I can see beauty in some of the better sited windfarms, but they are in danger of swamping the north of Scotland and it's unique landscape. I do accept Dan has a point over the First Minister's apparent duplicity.
feepole - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to feepole:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> What's the point in these long distance trails anyway?
>

Darn it, I seem to have 'unquoted' that line. Apologies.
feepole - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to AlH:

Agreed. I'm not in the least bit interested in whether a hill is a Munro or a Corbett, but I can see why such lists (and their associated guides and media coverage) provide an 'in' to the outdoors for many people.
Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to feepole:
> I do accept Dan has a point over the First Minister's apparent duplicity.

Only if you don't like wind farms; I was out in the Ochils last weekend and I can honestly say that, for me, the new wind farm behind Ben Cleuch somehow enhanced the view for me.

ps You have a truly stunning set of landscape photos on here - all that is needed is a few turbines in the distance to give them a little more perspective.

jonnie3430 - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to feepole)
> [...]
>
> unnecessary signposting

I don't like it due to this too. Scottish Rights of Way Society are a pain in the neck with their signposting too.
AlH - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: But would you want to see them from every hill in Scotland because that is... with no exaggeration... the way it is heading. And of course to put them in there is the associated infrastructure. I'm actually ambivalent about the wind farm debate in many ways. There is so much conflicting information from 'experts'. What is becoming obvious is the number of farms potentially planned and the Scottish Government's support for them.
Bulls Crack - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to feepole)
> [...]
>
> No, not enough cynicism. What's the point in these long distance trails anyway? With our access laws and our excellent OS maps, why can't people decide for themselves where they want to go if thery feel like going for a long walk? These trails will just result in unnecessary signposting and possibly crowds and erosion.
>
Because many - and possibly most - people like trails and signposting rather than making their own way. See numerous national trail user surveys in England/Wales

Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Because many - and possibly most - people like trails and signposting rather than making their own way. See numerous national trail user surveys in England/Wales.

Unfortunately this might well be the case. But I don't think this necesarily means encouraging them!
Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to AlH:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) But would you want to see them from every hill in Scotland because that is... with no exaggeration... the way it is heading.

I'm not sure that would actually bother me.
Don't get me wrong; there are places I would be horrified to see them (the Cairngorm plateau or Mingulay, to take two extreme examples), but I've yet to be bothered by any I have seen.
Bulls Crack - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
> [...]
>
> Unfortunately this might well be the case. But I don't think this necessarily means encouraging them!

Depends where they are really. A well maintained rights of way network is the best means of accessing the outdoors for most people and national trails are particulalry liked by their users because they do offer a high standard of maintenance etc. But, as always, there's a time and a place
Ramblin dave - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

That's a rather elitist attitude!

I know it's upsetting to have to share however many thousand square miles of outdoors it is that Scotland has with some people who don't want to plan every mile they walk for themselves, but I'm sure that if we really try we can deal with it...
Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> National trails are particulalry liked by their users because they do offer a high standard of maintenance etc.

But they probably wouldn't need any maintenance if they weren't designated as national trails in the first place.
Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> That's a rather elitist attitude!

Nothing wrong with a little elitism.
>
> I know it's upsetting to have to share however many thousand square miles of outdoors it is that Scotland has with some people who don't want to plan every mile they walk for themselves, but I'm sure that if we really try we can deal with it...

Very upsetting, but yes, I suppose if we try really, really hard.....

Ramblin dave - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> Nothing wrong with a little elitism.
> [...]

Not until someone tries to change the access laws in favour of landowners or build a reservoir in your favourite remote glen or stick a road through a wild and unfrequented pass and you find that noone outside your elite club gives a damn about it...
feepole - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

>
> ps You have a truly stunning set of landscape photos on here - all that is needed is a few turbines in the distance to give them a little more perspective.

Thank you..... I think! ;-)

I agree they can look dramatic in certain places. (the one in Caithness next to the A9 is particularly dramatic), but creating a maze of bulldozed tracks and sinking millions of tonnes of concrete into our peatlands is a worrying trend...
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Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Nothing wrong with a little elitism.>

> Not until someone tries to change the access laws in favour of landowners or build a reservoir in your favourite remote glen or stick a road through a wild and unfrequented pass and you find that noone outside your elite club gives a damn about it...

This argument doesn't make sense to me. Are you saying that we should encourage hordes into the hills with "trails", signposts etc. just so that there will be more people likely to complain about further intrusions?
You don't have to go somewhere to want to protect it; there are many remote places in the world to which I am never likely to go just because access is so difficult or dangerous, but this very inaccessibility is something which makes them even more worthy of protection; the inaccessibility itself is worth protecting.

Ramblin dave - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> This argument doesn't make sense to me. Are you saying that we should encourage hordes into the hills with "trails", signposts etc. just so that there will be more people likely to complain about further intrusions?

Well no, we should also do it because experience of the outdoors can enrich peoples' lives and make us all happier and healthier people. And because sharing something you take pleasure in is a pleasure in itself, even if you are deigning to share it with people who aren't Great Adventurers like yourself.

But it does also increase the weight given to preserving the beauty of these areas when it comes into conflict with other interests. It's one thing to want to protect wilderness on the other side of the world because you love the wilderness on this side of the world. But it's another to oppose a scheme that'll provide much needed jobs, money, transport etc even though you've never been further than your local park.
Robert Durran - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Well no, we should also do it because experience of the outdoors can enrich peoples' lives.......

But that is a separate argument with which I have rather more sympathy. Perhaps your sentence shoud have started "Well yes, but we should also....".

> But it's another to oppose a scheme that'll provide much needed jobs, money, transport etc .....

And that is another separate argument about which I would be much mnore cautious; it could be used to support all sorts of horrendous intrusions on the wilderness.
Wee Davie - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I'm quite happy for another long distance trail to be established. I haven't done any of them myself, but I have met loads of people who got massive enjoyment from and sense of achievment from doing the WHW and others like it.

I'm slightly less excited about Gore's involvement- only because they have allegedly employed some dubious tactics over the years to maintain their market advantage.

There's a lot of money to be made in marketing the outdoors in Scotland. I'm under no illusion that our hills are pristine wilderness. Sensible development is the way forward.

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