The Angry Corrie 14: Aug-Sep 1993


Gordon Bennet and his brother Donald

As a footnote to the Minigaig piece on the preceding page, it is worth recording the fate of TAC's attempt to link with the Scottish Rights of Way Society over this issue. Not wanting to tread on anyone's toes, and in the time-honoured spirit of cooperation, your editor wrote to the SRoWS some four weeks before TAC13 went to press, floating the idea of a mass walk. A reply wasn't received until some seven weeks later - by which time TAC13 had of course hit the streets - with Donald Bennet, chair of the SRoWS, declining our invitation. This was of course fair enough, if somewhat disappointing.

What was more surprising however was Bennet's proffered 'personal' reasons for disapproving of a mass walk, citing environmental damage, particularly to soft ground in wet conditions. Now, this is also fair enough comment - until, that is, you consider two facts about Donald Bennet himself:

  1. The SRoWS regularly organises its own mass walks, presumably under the jurisdiction of Bennet as chair. For example, they crossed the Fungle on 7/6/92, walked above Dunkeld on 6/6/93, and are due in the Ochils on 12/9/93 - with a considerable number of participants each time so one is led to believe.
  2. Wearing his other hat, that of SMC high heidjin, Bennet has of course edited and heavily contributed to the massive-selling Munros and Corbetts guidebooks - plus of course his very own Southern Highlands area guide. Hence it seems not unreasonable to suggest he has - how shall we put it? - prompted mass walks up most of the country's hills every weekend for the past decade or so. And it doesn't take long to notice that the Munros especially are now liberally festooned with paths of the selfsame soft ground/wet conditions variety.

Yet Bennet insists on taking the moral high ground - particularly that over 3000' - and is nobly and implacably against mass walks, period. Hmm. The words 'have', 'cake' and 'eat it' spring to mind.


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