Accurate forecasts are vital for hillgoers' safety. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Accurate forecasts are vital for hillgoers' safety. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A Green member of the Scottish Parliament said the Government needs to come clean over the future of an independent mountain weather service.

Green MSP Andy Wightman said the minister for public health and sport was unable to provide answers about what was said in a meeting between sportscotland and the Mountain Weather Information Service.

MWIS said it has been told its funding would end, putting the service in jeopardy.

The Lothian MSP said he repeatedly asked the minister Aileen Campbell on Tuesday. He said he had sought assurances mountain forecasts would continue.

Mr Wightman, the Scottish Greens’ housing and land reform spokesperson, said: “I’m glad that the minister shares my view that the forecast service is an essential service for climber and walker safety in Scotland and that conversations with the Government and its agencies are ongoing.

“However, the public will be looking for more transparency over what the current funding set up is and how that has been communicated to the MWIS. I’ll continue to seek updates from the minister to guarantee the long-term future of mountain weather forecasting.

“This is a service that has provided trusted detailed forecasting for mountain users for 13 years and sportscotland has funded it since 2007.

“It’s a service that is trusted and relied upon by hundreds of thousands of users of Scotland’s mountains every year and safety and enjoyment of those who use our mountains is dependent upon accurate reliable, and above all trusted sources of weather forecasts.”

Ms Campbell said: “The Mountain Weather Information Service has delivered an excellent service over the years and provided an accurate and essential service to all who use Scotland’s mountains.

“sportscotland has been involved with the Met Office and with MWIS about building a resilient mountain weather forecast provision for Scotland.

“We’re committed to ensuring that everyone can continue receiving these vital forecasts, building on the skills and expertise that are within MWIS.”

sportscotland, the non-departmental public body answerable to the Scottish Parliament, administers the £36,000 annual grant to the Galloway-based meteorological team, led by Geoff Monk.

It said on Monday: “sportscotland will discuss with MWIS the provision of their service through this coming winter to ensure this familiar forecast format is available at a time when participation within the Scottish mountains peaks.

“Future developments into the provision of mountain weather forecasting will continue to be considered with the Met Office and it is hoped that MWIS will return to play an active role in these discussions.

“We reassure all stakeholders that safeguarding the supply of accurate, bespoke mountain weather forecasts is at the core of our commitment to outdoor communities and all those who rely on them.”

MWIS said it had been inundated with messages of support following a weekend statement it issued saying its future was at risk.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. sportscotland agrees funding to keep Mountain Weather Information Service running
  2. Met Office revamps its mountain forecasts and links to avalanche service
  3. Forecast gloomy for Mountain Weather Information Service as funding disappears
  4. End to Met’s seasonal forecasts after ‘mild winter’ criticism
  5. Met Office launches hill summit forecasts for walkers and climbers