Major Sir John Pprice-Smythe IBM, CDM etc
DATE: November 1994
REF: Lecture by Capt Forbes on access as reported in TAC18
This article came to my attention recently and I wish to correct you on certain points with regard to access to the hills. It is articles like this, promoting unbridled access to the hills as if the landowner does not exist, that only perpetuates conflict in the countryside. Let us get together, and arrive at a balanced view.
You state that there are approximately four weeks of the year (mid- February to 21st March) when open access to the hills can be tolerated. The calendar below will put you right:
July 1 - Oct 20 Stag shooting (+ grouse shooting from Aug 12)
21 Oct - Feb 15 Hind shooting
Feb 16 - Mar 31 Deer, sheep, birds & mountain hares extremely susceptible to disturbance owing to low energy reserves at the end of winter
Mar 21 - June 29 Lambing season, deer calving, ground birds nesting
June 30 Open access day
Obviously most hillwalkers, climbers and skiers do not understand the needs of those of us who have to make a living in the countryside, so I would be grateful if you publish this diary so that your readers become properly educated.
You will note that there is one day, June 30th, when there is no problem with public access and your readers are free to make full use of the hills (as long as they keep to the paths, do not picnic, do not light fires, do not camp, etc). This is a full 24-hour period (midnight-to-midnight), which should allow ample time for the public to climb to the top of a hill and get back down safely.
Certified conservationist and animal killer
TAC 21 Index