What I’ve been reading this week, 2 August 2020

Wildlife crime from Nidderdale to the Cairngorms, the wild camping debate, rethinking the right to roam, and wine is the best anti-inflammatory.

Environment and nature

Satellite-tagged white-tailed eagle found poisoned on grouse moor in Cairngorms National Park — ‘This should be the tipping point. The Scottish Government simply cannot ignore this blatant criminality any longer.’

Two spaniels poisoned by ‘Nidderdale cocktail’ in bird of prey crime hotspot — if the white-tailed eagle isn’t the tipping point, this certainly should be. An eagle might be a little too abstract to galvanise the general public but anyone can visualise a poisoned spaniel. Absolutely appalling.

The wild camping debate

It’s been simmering for a while now, but this week the debate about the future of wild camping has exploded to the forefront as ‘dirty camping’ has made national news. Some believe that responsible campers should distance themselves from the term ‘wild camping’, while others think we should fight harder to reclaim it.

The camping problem, nature and wild land: a perspective — Chris Townsend points out that individual acts of bad behaviour in the outdoors pale in comparison to the damage caused (or potentially caused) by industry, big business, and poor land use.

What’s in name? Wild camping, backpacking, bivouacking …… — another good piece from Chris, this time on the question of whether we should rename wild camping.

Wild Camping — a good primer on wild camping from Dan Bailey at UKHillwalking.

Davie Black: We need more investment, not more legislation for wild camping — opinion from Davie Black at The Press and Journal.

Wild camping: changing the name won’t change behaviour — I don’t often link to my own work in this weekly slot, but here’s my opinion. ‘Instead of hostility and finger-pointing, we need empathy, openness, and education. The media is awash with images of devastation labelled as “wild camping”. What is this teaching people?’

Wild camping: Would trashing of wilderness areas happen less in an independent Scotland? — this is an example of an astoundingly poor take, for reasons which should be obvious.

Outdoors (general)

The spirit of Kinder: why we need to rethink the ‘right to roam’ — Faraz Shibli writes for The Great Outdoors on the question of whether the countryside is really open to all. ‘At its heart, the struggle for a right to roam is a democratic movement – one that seeks equality of access for all. Surely widening access to ethnic minorities and other underrepresented groups is the natural next step of this historic journey.’

Trio complete tough Mullardoch Munro round – and raise funds for MRT — what a route. Tremendous effort.

TrekSnappy’s Pyrenees Traverse – Week 8 — the final instalment of Wayne and Danielle’s Pyrenees traverse blog series. I’ve really enjoyed reading this.

One Hourquette is better than none (wine is the best anti inflammatory) — another blog post from Camille on the Haute Route Pyrenees.

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By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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