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Walk the line: July date for Ribblehead crossing

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23 February 2007

Cash-strapped Lakes body to shed staff

Lake District National Park staff have been told there will be redundancies following what the park authority calls ‘a major restructure’.Managers have started consultations with unions and staff before a decision is made by members of the Lake District National Park Authority in March.

01 February 2007

Scots outdoor groups line up against pylons

The inquiry into the controversial plans to build a new power line through some of Scotland’s most scenic country opened today.More than 17,000 objections to the scheme have been received so far, including submissions from mountaineering, walking and conservation groups.Local authorities and Scottish Natural Heritage are also opposing the plan, which would involve the renewal of the line from Beauly near Inverness to Denny, 137 miles away, near Stirling.

06 February 2007

RAF crew's tale of stricken rescue helicopter

With mountain rescue so prominent in much of the mainstream news media following this weekend’s incidents, there’s a timely insight into the work of one branch of our rescue services on the BBC website.A year ago, an RAF search-and-rescue crew was forced to leave its winchman on the side of a mountain in a blizzard, as weather conditions suddenly worsened.The aircraft crew then had to make a forced landing themselves as ice suddenly caused rotor-blade problems and the helicopter risked falling from the sky.The story by, Steven McKenzie, of Sea King XZ593’s mission to rescue a climber that itself became subject of a rescue, gives an insight into the world of the crews we hope we will never need to rely on and the horrific conditions they sometimes have to work in.The drama unfolded in the Coire an-t Sneachda, notorious now for the four deaths at the end of last year.You can read the story on the Highlands and Islands section of the BBC News website. .

12 February 2007

Police name Glencoe death-fall climber

Police have named the man who fell his death on Bidean nam Bian on Saturday.He was Laird McMaster, 34, of Inverkip in Inverclyde.

13 February 2007

Longridge campaigners go for green

Campaigners trying to save a Teesside wood say it should be classed as a village green.Kate Ashbrook (left) of the Open Spaces Society, which is backing residentsLongridge Wood at Marton, near Middlesbrough, is threatened by housing development.

14 February 2007

Wainwright fans' trail campaign steps up a gear

The Wainwright Society is stepping up its campaign to have the Coast-to-Coast Walk designated a National Trail.The Society, formed to study and promote the works of the Grumpy Old Fellwalker known to his close friends as AW, to others as Alfred and to his paramour as Red, wants the route he devised classified in the same way as long distance paths such as the Pennine Way.Designation as a National Trail would bring investment and protection to the route, which runs the 192 miles from St Bee’s Head on the Cumbrian coast to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

16 February 2007

Mountain marathon entries open this week

Entries open on Friday for the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon, which bills itself as the connoisseurs’ marathon.As usual, there’s no indication of the actual site of the event, other than the cryptic hint that it will take place two hours’ drive north of Edinburgh and Glasgow and 2¾ hours from Aberdeen.

20 February 2007

Happy ending for trapped Lochnagar climber

A climber was rescued unharmed after finding himself stuck on a Highland mountain for five hours.The inexperienced winter mountaineer was told to stay put after calling police this morning.

21 February 2007

Brecon national park wants your pictures

The Brecon Beacons National Park is fifty this year and its authority wants your memories of living in the area.But, in common with many organisations now, the National Park Authority is on a rights-grab of any material submitted by the public.In essence, the authority wants you to sign over all rights if you send them photographs which end up winning its competition.

01 February 2007

Helicopter rescue for Crib Goch mountaineer

An RAF helicopter rescued a woman lost in the dark on Snowdon.The unnamed woman, from York, used her mobile phone to call for help when she became disoriented on Crib Goch.She rang the rescue services around 8pm last night and a search-and-rescue helicopter was scrambled from nearby RAF Valley on Anglesey.

07 February 2007

Fort William festival starts this week

Fort William hosts its annual mountain festival later this week.The fortnight of celebrations of everything to do with the pointy bits of our landscape kicks off (or should that be strides out?) on Friday with winter workshops on walking and avalanche awareness, a photography exhibition of Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition and writing workshops.There will also be the first viewing of the light show on the hillside of Meall an t-Slamain plus a lecture on white-water kayaking.

12 February 2007

Peak quarry inquiry hears objections

British Mountaineering Council representatives were at the opening of the public inquiry into the Longstone Edge quarry in the Peak District.Also at the hearing were former Labour deputy leader Lord Hattersley and Tory chief whip and local MP Patrick McLoughlin.The inspector told the packed meeting at Calver Village Hall that he would be basing his decision on the legal technicalities of the 1956 planning permission under which the quarry companies were operating.Objections were put to the inquiry by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Peak District National Park Authority and the Save Longstone Edge Group.

13 February 2007

Notorious Cuillins clan chief dies in London

The man who tried to sell the Cuillins for millions of pounds has died.John MacLeod of MacLeod caused outrage when he put the iconic Skye mountain range on the market for £10m.

14 February 2007

Scots Exec's 'no' to Cairngorms expansion

The Scottish Executive has knocked back plans to enlarge the Cairngorms National Park.Sarah Boyack, deputy environment minister, told MSPs that no change would be considered until the park’s five-year plan is reviewed next year.Campaigners, including the Perthshire Alliance for the Real Cairngorms, want to move the boundary to take in several areas which lie outside the present park.

15 February 2007

Inspector backs campaigners' green-space bid

A green space in a West Yorkshire town has been saved from development by local campaigners.Locals in Yeadon, in the shadow of Leeds-Bradford airport, succeeded in having an open space ruled to be a town green, which means it should not be built on.Inspector Alun Aylesbury ruled that Yeadon Banks had been used for recreation for 20 years and so could be registered as a green.

19 February 2007

Natural England backs coastal access corridor

The Government’s official body on outdoor matters today recommended the setting up of a 4,500km-long access corridor around England’s coast.Natural England, which was set up last autumn, says there should be a new law to ensure public access to the country’s beaches and coastline.

21 February 2007

Minister says Brecon must protect mining sites

Welsh environment minister Carwyn Jones has told a national park it must change its planning blueprint to safeguard sand and gravel mining sites.Park authorities in the Brecon Beacons say the ruling could have severe environmental implications.Despite 1,000 residents of Talybont-on-Usk signing a petition against mining in the area, the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) says the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority must protect the areas from being built upon in its local unitary development plan (UDP).It has been told it cannot adopt the UDP in its present form, which means all the park’s planning policies are put into doubt.

22 February 2007

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