What I’ve been reading this week, 21 November 2020

The legacy of the Clearances, sketching Scotland’s mountains, the digital dilemma, and why readers should wean themselves off Amazon.

Nature and environment

How the shooting industry is exploiting the legacy of the Clearances — an excellent piece from David Lintern about the controversial idea of reducing deer numbers in the Scottish Highlands.

Country diary: a parasite for sore eyes — Carey Davies writes about reassuring signs of new life.

Scottish Parliament fails to declare nature emergency — looking back, I think this will be seen as a missed opportunity.


Kit List – what I carry and why — a very interesting real-world gear review of the kit being used on a long mountain walk in a wide variety of conditions.

I can’t visit Scotland’s mountains – so I’m sketching them instead — Heather Dawe writes about how and why she sketches mountains. ‘As we head into this lockdown winter, I am going to keep sketching and writing my mountain stories. They will tide me over until the spring, when hopefully it will be easier to head north again.’

The Digital Dilemma — a good piece from Hendrik about why he tries to stay offline as much as possible when spending time outside.

Iberia Empty Quarter: Background — Inaki has been exploring a quiet area of Spain. This is an introduction to his recent trip.

Today Was a Gift — David Russell’s quest to photograph an extraordinary tree in the Cairngorms. A great read.

Outdoor Use Increases in UK, While Investment and Access Lag — ‘In a rare show of unity, landowners and outdoor groups in Scotland are jointly calling for better resourcing to support the country’s much-lauded access rights, in the face of significant cutbacks in countryside access jobs.’

Books, writing, and publishing

The best place on the internet to buy new paperback books — Mark Horrell: ‘It’s easy to see where all this is leading as Amazon goes from strength to strength. The little guy will continue to receive a thinner slice of the pie. And squeezing the little guy too much will eventually give the customer less choice. And that, dear readers, is why we all need to wean ourselves off Amazon.’

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By Alex Roddie

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

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