Interesting idea for a project. Personally I'd prefer Scotland's 1,000 secret howffs. Difficult/ impossible to find unless taken there, as per the original Beinn a'Bhuird one...
Time to get to work : )
> Why not? As you've pointed out, it's not wild land.
I don't follow you. I used the inverted comma's because it's not entirely clear what type of land they will be built on - green belt land, public owned land - what it is clear is that the idea is that it is some type of land that is otherwise untouched and unspoilt - "wild".
Before watching the video I thought it was going to be about a New Zealand style hut network, dormitory style sleeping with a wood burning stove and a toilet open to all for a small fee.
How would it benefit the general population to have clusters of private huts?
I think secret bothies are a bit of a shame because they aren't really open for all, and if they are found by the wrong people they get trashed.
In NZ the basic huts were $5-30(NZ) which was very reasonable, or a really cheap 6- or 12-month pass. First come first serve, with wood (or coal) supplied. They were maintained and in the high season sporadically patrolled.
"Perhaps the biggest barrier of all – access to land – will be the most challenging. However, hutters will need to think creatively around the opportunities that do exist through private landlords, public landowning bodies and community-owned land, to find opportunities for new hut sites." although the campaign appears to be run by "Reforesting Scotland" which doesn't appear to have anyhting to do with the forestry commission.
> Really? Whereabouts in Scotland is this then?
You don't think there is any part of Scotland that is otherwise untouched and unspoilt?
I spent most of my childhood holidays in an asbestos prefab bungalow rebuilt by my grandfather on a small plot in the Clwydian Hills. The site was no doubt chosen because it was a few miles from the furthest point that a direct bus service ran from Birkenhead. A distance grandparents could walk, and infants be pushed in prams. It was down a bumpy dead end lane, and sat adjoining 10 or so other ramshackle huts and dilapidated wooden wheeled caravans.
The 'bungalow' had been dismantled from its' original site on merseyside where it was due to be pulled down, and carted to its' new site on the Clwydian Hills. Few of the neighbours had much money, or cars. Water was from a standpipe and each properties' cack was buried in a cesspit; these were a bugger to dig because of the limestone. It was a cherished assortment of amateur structures, a similar heritage to what was once common on allotments and pigeon lofts.
As kids, we found where trout lay in the river, we hunted adders, investigated sinkholes and gathered firewood. A wonderful place to play and a contrast to the industrially polluted landscape of Merseyside.
I went back 20 years ago. The lane was now tarmacked and much wider. The woodland had been felled alongside and chained and fenced car parking created. Every property bar one had been demolished. In their place stood a ghastly assortment of permanent housing. Brookside on steroids.
The river we knew so well is now partly fenced off and is designated a country park. They have wardens and suburban signage.
Revenue into an under-populated region? Judging by how other threads (and probably this one as well) end up as slanging matches, the question mark is meant to denote a genuine question, not a sarkie snipe.
Not all of the general population would be enticed by such a prospect. I would class myself as part of the general population (which we are all part of, surely) that would benefit if I had one. Just saying.
> Revenue into an under-populated region? Judging by how other threads (and probably this one as well) end up as slanging matches, the question mark is meant to denote a genuine question, not a sarkie snipe.
> Not all of the general population would be enticed by such a prospect. I would class myself as part of the general population (which we are all part of, surely) that would benefit if I had one. Just saying.
I'd love a hut in a remote place. I'm not sure that allowing people to build them is of particular benefit to anyone except the person that owns them.
It might well bring revenue into an underpopulated area. Is it worth it though?
(Genuine question as well - no intention to be sarkie ;-)
I suppose it would depend on how many there were within a certain area. I should imagine for it to increase with any significance the revenue into that particular area, we would probably end up like llechwedd did, above (and they would no longer be remote)!
> I suppose it would depend on how many there were within a certain area. I should imagine for it to increase with any significance the revenue into that particular area, we would probably end up like llechwedd did, above (and they would no longer be remote)!
That would be my fear. Coupled with issues like "temporary" being for 2-3 months perhaps covering the harvest season and open to abuse as workers accommodation.
It'd be great if it reduced the need for people to have second homes in villages up and down the west coast which would in turn make it cheaper for people to actually live there properly. I'm not entirely convinced it would work like that though! Beyond that, I'm fairly neutral to the idea.
The nice thing about a hut system is that you can get the remote experience of camping without requiring much gear. I have already stated my opposition to private huts, but in the NZ system (again) they supply foam mattresses and the stove heats the hut. When I was over there in the off-season I basically lived out of one of the huts for a couple of weeks, hiking into town for supply runs and going on day hikes. It was winter so quite rainy, and being able to warm up and dry off without any special gear was what made it possible.
For someone without much outdoor experience, walking along a maintained path with sandwiches for lunch, a tin of soup for tea, and a cheapo Lidl or Decathlon sleeping bag to a warm and dry hut would be a much more approachable option than kitting out to go camping in Scotland!
There used to be a network of hostels in Scotland for people of limited means to access the countryside. Now there aren't. We're told that people don't want that sort of thing any more. Far too communal and basic!
Hostels have closed and the remaining ones reinvented themselves...
I think a similar drive underpins the hutting thing.
Once a means for people who couldn't otherwise afford to go on a family holiday, they're now a sort of lifestyle choice product espoused by TV wazzocks like Kevin McCloud and George Clark.
Presumably the new generation of huts will have 'intregrity' and embody 'sustainability'. More middle class spoor across the countryside.
I can't see it improving access for those who can least afford it.
In reply to llechwedd: I agree with you. I've been to the Carbeth huts outside Glasgow a few times. The hutters have now bought the land from the original land owner and this area could not have been described as either remote or wild so I've no problem with them at all: in fact, there's generally a nice atmosphere there. I'd have no issue with hutting at similar sites around Scotland.
The fear is that allowing huts to spread across Scotland would see development creep expand into otherwise fairly undeveloped areas. While the hut owners may benefit, that's a very limited and contained benefit whereas the cost to other users of the open 'wild' spaces would affect more people.
With some of the huts, you can see development creep as they become bigger and less harmonious with the background environment.
On a side note, interesting article on part of the Carbeth huts history:
Carbeth played a further role, in getting the urban working class adventurer further out onto the Highland hills. Many of the early Clydeside mountaineers were victims of the Depression, unemployed from the shipyards of Scotstoun and Clydebank, and there was an overlap between these and the hutters. The climbers, many of them in the legendary Creag Dhu, met at Craigallion Loch, a little south of the huts, where a fire was reputedly never allowed to go out, such was the coming and going of walkers, mountaineers, and tramps. From Craigallion Loch they pushed further northwards;the Campsies, along the water pipeline track to Loch Katrine, and westwards to the Cobbler, occasionally hitch-hiking but largely on foot. I. Thompson's biography of the Clydeside socialist mountaineer Jock Nimlin gives details from Nimlin's diaries of when he was unemployed, which show that he was as welcome at the huts of Carbeth as he was at the Craigallion fire. He, like many others, would walk or hitch out from Glasgow, and using Carbeth as a base, undertake massive pedestrian expeditions into the Highlands, often engaging in casual labour on farms and estates, before dropping back to the fire at the loch, or the hut of a friend at this suburban staging post for the exploration of the Highlands. 'Slept at Carbeth' and 'Home by Craigallion' are frequent entries in Nimlin's diaries.
Some of the replies on here seem to assume that they're talking about Alpine-style or bothy-like huts in remote highland glens. In practice, most of what already seems to exist under the banner of "hutting" seems to be little boltholes in rural-ish areas not far from the Central Belt population centres.
> to get an idea of what's being talked about here.
But the authors of those articles are a little disingenuous in their harking back to the ethos of the post WWII 'hutter' (I don't remember that being a term at the time). That ethos doesn't exist today except in the sense of self conscious reenactment. There may be a few dwellers hanging on for the sake of family 'tradition'. Most neighbouring 'huts' have been demolished and 'upgraded' with all the sensitivity of a Travelodge. But, to advertise the owners'rural hankerings, by the door there'll be green wellies and a pastel painted bird box that was made in China.
The original structures were erected ad hoc by people of limited means (poverty by today's standards). The physical effort and feats of ingenuity and endurance that were required to transport and build them were often heroic by today's standards. 'One piece at a time', on the bus, over a protracted period was not uncommon. This imposed constraints on the footprint and material of the building. Construction method was likely hand tools and self build (in the true sense of the word). It was not generators, chainsaws and minidiggers.
Impose those constraints (which at the time were just how things were) and the plans become very modest. That is not the case today.
Even the title '1000 huts' smacks of targets and advertising. If you have to entice, then are you really going to get the (God forbid) 'right sort of people'?
Despite planning regs, people who seek out such basic accomodation will always be able to find it- a caravan at a farm etc. The won't need to be part of the '1000 huts'.
For the Central Belt car owner (which is how it would work nowadays), rapid access to most of Scotland is now possible. When 'huts' were built, it was at places that were as far as you could reliably get by whatever means available.
A cynic might suggest that there may be an element of middle class sense of entitlement to a holiday home, but wanting to do it on the cheap whilst dressing it up in a rather nebulous back-to-nature / communitarian justification.
We have endless scope for camping, numerous bothies, hostels etc, where people can spend time away from urban life in simple inexpensive accommodation. This seems more about having your own wee home and castle, which is fine but essentially individualistic. The idea that anyone other than the hut owner/tenant benefits much is questionable - the wee shop along the road from the Carbeth huts closed down years ago, presumably the hutters bring all their supplies in their cars. Further to that, the principle that huts would be simple and spartan is fine but human nature is always to improve/expand/modernise. I have a couple of friends with 'huts', neither at Carbeth, but both in beautiful spots. In both cases they have more or less doubled in size over the years with added mod cons, one of them even has sky TV!
> Pretty much like camping. Or caravanning. But you can do it in all weathers with less experience and when less able.
Is that "less experienced" and "less able" in the sense of "able to understand and negotiate the proposed planning regulations, organise the construction of the hut and select and find a site for it" but not able to drive to a campsite/static caravan site.
> A cynic might suggest that there may be an element of middle class sense I have a couple of friends with 'huts', neither at Carbeth, but both in beautiful spots. In both cases they have more or less doubled in size over the years with added mod cons, one of them even has sky TV!
We were a camping family when I was young (back in the late 60's 70's. starting with camping out on beaches, no lights, heating, limited cookeng, sand in everything and everywhere.
As the years got on, we had so many mod cons, modern convieniences and space, that I stopped enjoying it at all, as I had everything that I had at home including a TV. Only the view was different, and that was not enough for me.
> A cynic might suggest that there may be an element of middle class sense of entitlement to a holiday home, but wanting to do it on the cheap whilst dressing it up in a rather nebulous back-to-nature / communitarian justification.
I don't even think you have to be that much of a cynic.... ;-)
In reply to Douglas Griffin: There is no doubt in my mind that we are not ready for this. For all the similarities in culture or landscape, the average population density in Scotland is different from Norway and Sweden. We do not have sufficient access to land. Our wild and mountainous land needs a generation of reinstatement. A lot has to change before this can happen successfully.
Most of all, the current levels of pointless state encroachment into our private lives (contrary of ECHR art. 8) would wreck this.
Are you suggesting that an independent Scotland wouldn't be a member of the Council of Europe? Article 4 of the Council of Europe Statute specifies that membership is open to any "European" State.
> Odd comment.
> An irrelevancy to be consigned to the no campaigns "it will all be alright" box?
Look - there's not the slightest reason to believe that an independent Scotland would not be admitted to the Council of Europe. It might take a month or 2 (it took 6 for Czech Republic and Slovakia) - big deal. So, yes, an irrelevance.
ps - I think you means the Yes campaign, by the way. Although the No campaign also has an "it'll be alright box" - a No vote might mean Scotland heading out of the EU as part of the UK, for example. No doubt that'll be alright too.
> I'm sure it could and would be - but automatically and with no delay?
It is just another of these, that come a yes vote, as democratic methods have been followed, all the politicians will come under pressure to do a deal, that goes for Scottish politicians. Even Michael Forsyth conceded that come a yes vote , he would be batting for Scotland to get the best deal out of Westminster. How good the deal would be no one knows.
If a group of Scots were asked , imagine you have woken up after a yes vote, and then a No vote what do you feel?
I think the answers would be quite different, some would say euphoric , and be wildly optimistic, some would be bordering on depression, and wildly pessimistic, and quite a few others, would be either side of a little unsure, but mildly excited/ concerned.
( I would be the last one)
have you seen these 'huts', have a look ar carron vallley, i wouldn't waste a match on them. They're an embarrassment, but they do fit in well with the throw your rubbish out the window central belt mentality.
> Look - there's not the slightest reason to believe that an independent Scotland would not be admitted to the Council of Europe. It might take a month or 2 (it took 6 for Czech Republic and Slovakia) - big deal. So, yes, an irrelevance.
As I have said it almost certainly could/would be. However if that element is not addressed somehow by somebody it won't be.
To lump it alltogether in the "I havent thought about this but it'll be alright box" isnt addressing the issue.
I think the consequences of being outside the EHCR for 6 months might be further reaching than you imagine - unless it is addressed.
> ps - I think you means the Yes campaign, by the way. Although the No campaign also has an "it'll be alright box" - a No vote might mean Scotland heading out of the EU as part of the UK, for example. No doubt that'll be alright too.
The difference being that the "no" box consequences are all set within a known democratic and political framework (and in the case of the EU as uncertain as a general election result, if not more so), rather than a leap into the dark
(Clearly my no/yes mistake was a Freudian slipof some sort ;-))
> As I have said it almost certainly could/would be. However if that element is not addressed somehow by somebody it won't be.
In the event of a Yes vote, Independence won't take effect until spring 2016 at the earliest. So there will be at least 18 months to address it, in the event of a Yes vote - that's if preliminary negotiations aren't already under way. And unlike the analogous Czech/Slovak situation, Scotland's legal system is already subject to the EHCR.
> To lump it alltogether in the "I havent thought about this but it'll be alright box" isnt addressing the issue.
I quite agree - but what makes you think that's what's happening? It's mentioned on p. 227, 229 and 260 of the Scottish Government's White Paper on Independence - so rest assured, they have at least thought about it. And they already knew the difference between the EU and the Council of Europe, without needing to have it pointed out to them, so they're clearly experts.
> I think the consequences of being outside the EHCR for 6 months might be further reaching than you imagine - unless it is addressed.
> The difference being that the "no" box consequences are all set within a known democratic and political framework (and in the case of the EU as uncertain as a general election result, if not more so), rather than a leap into the dark
What does that actually mean? I'm struggling to see any difference whatsoever.
There is now (belatedly) talk about 'Devo Max' in the event of a No vote. But there's been no equivalent of ScotGov's White Paper and no firm guarantees. We don't know who will win the General Election in 2015, and we don't know what the result of the 2017 Referendum on EU Membership (if it happens) will be. If you're looking for certainies in the event of a Yes or No vote, you won't find them.
Some people are prepared to live with a bit of additional uncertainty in pursuit of the bigger goal, i.e. Independence. If people aren't, that's fine. But if they are, you really shouldn't take it so personally.
> Some people are prepared to live with a bit of additional uncertainty in pursuit of the bigger goal, i.e. Independence. If people aren't, that's fine. But if they are, you really shouldn't take it so personally.
Totally agree. That's why I'd prefer a bit of honesty about uncertainty rather than a naive "it'll be alright".
I just think that there are potential issues with transferring the EU membership. I think it will happen, the EU will want it, but so far Salmond and the SNP have a poor track record in negotiating.. it's been 'that's not fair'.. and 'you are bullying'..
But I just cannot see Scotland, or the UK, rUK, leaving the EU…
Look at the polls for Scotland leaving the UK? Walk out on a street and ask people, the yes voters are very open about it… you get the feeling its pretty certain it will go, but they go home look at their mortgages and pragmatism comes into play..many who want an independent Scotland will also just accept it's better the devil you know.. hence why at the moment the polls still suggest Scotland will remain.
Its the same with the UK and the EU.. people want less EU interference, they have the island mentality, but big business wants the UK in the EU and like with Scotland there will be small pressures growing to large pressures on their staff if it looks like change could happen. We're already seeing it in the UK in response to UKIP.. Japan and the USA want the UK in Europe..
The risk of the UK leaving the EU is being over played and is just fear mongering on the part of the Scots.. something they accuse BT of doing. At the moment their has been little public drive to push the EU compared to UKIP so we're seeing a biased view…
As UKIP have strengthened the businesses have started to come out.. people need jobs, the UK needs the EU, business doesn't like instability… There is no chance we'll risk a referendum on the EU unless it was fairly much set in stone what the outcome would be.
> You don't really prefer a carte blanche "everything will be alright do you?
No, but as I've said, I don't think that's what we've got.
What I meant was, why are you bothered one way or the other? I don't mean to suggest that you're not entitled to an opinion on this - of course you are. But what difference would it make to you one way or the other whether Scotland gets into the Council of Europe straight away, or after 3 months, or not at all?
> No, but as I've said, I don't think that's what we've got.
> What I meant was, why are you bothered one way or the other? I don't mean to suggest that you're not entitled to an opinion on this - of course you are. But what difference would it make to you one way or the other whether Scotland gets into the Council of Europe straight away, or after 3 months, or not at all?
To me, and perhaps most, it might not matter much, however not having an overarching and legal commitment to the EHCR may have implications during that period of transition.
I could see for example a grey area for three months in the authorising of surveillance, which might hamper law enforcement, or enable them to operate outside the system without any actual consequence
In Just A Minute someone would have buzzed in with DEVIATION I suspect.
I think that building privately rented huts is a daft idea. Put the money into paid public bothies instead. In California the summer is in full swing, which means getting to the wild parts of the hills involves crawling over literally hundreds of massive RVs. Last weekend I got woken up by our campsite neighbors starting the petrol generator so they could have hot showers and watch the telly. Huts would bring people like that out of the cities, and I don't want them. Even on Central Belt land, because there are tranquil areas that shouldn't be spoiled.
One idea I thought of was that each high school, or group of schools in some area, would manage and maintain a bothy thus allowing people to be more introduced to the outdoors and learn various skills in the process. This would require more bothies/huts and so on but I like the idea of young people taking ownership and so on.
That is an interesting idea. The schools wouldn't need to be local to the bothy, they could go as a 3-4 day school trip or something.
While a few more huts wouldn't be a bad thing if carefully planned, you wouldn't necessarily need many more. If you had one trip per year per school, with fairly easy objectives each trip, you could engage a large number of kids with the outdoors all at the same hut. i wonder how it would be set up though? Probably the MBA or similar would need to manage the project, create a list of work that needs doing, etc. and then find schools to join the project.
I think a few bothies in the Central Belt would be pretty cool, one in the Pentlands for instance would make for a really fun overnight ski tour in the winter.
In reply to Bob_the_Builder:
Agreed. I was thinking of schools taking on their local bothy such as Kingussie High looking after and visiting the Meall Chuaich one or the Nicolson looking after a Lewis bothy. There is so much you could do with a project/movement like this. I wouldn't be up for some school hundreds of miles away taking ownership of a bothy as I don't think that would have anything like the same impact.
You could really introduce young people to the outdoors this way. *
Either way, this would require changes to the school timetable/curriculum.
* Many kids I know are more outdoor than outdoor instructors so I don't think the presumption of cluelessness is safe.
Schools local to the bothies would be ideal but hard to implement because the best places for bothies are often not near schools. But better low impact than none at all. This may be incorrect, but I suspect that children out on Lewis are more exposed to the outdoor lifestyle already. The really important targets are inner city schools.
Also a bit tricky because some tasks are unsafe (or percieved unsafe by H&S) for school kids, so maybe more bothy-based rubbish pickup, trail maintenance, bothy cleaning/tidying would be done.