The Angry Corrie 46: Jul-Aug 2000

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Late news - Dumgoyne

Late news on a startling land issue. Dumgoyne is one of the country's most prominent hills, sticking up at the western end of the Campsies and visible from much of Greater Glasgow plus all manner of points north, too. The kind of landmark hill that even non-walkers love, it's not at all high - only 427m - but is steep on every side and has that rare and precious feature: a small summit. This has scarcely ever carried a proper cairn, but as of 31 May it acquired something ugly and intrusive. That was the day when a Marines helicopter made three trips to the summit, where a hole was dug and a 1m-high non-local stone deposited. This was then concreted in place and bolted down. At the time of writing there were five holes drilled in the stone, awaiting some utterly inappropriate plaque. The whole nonsense is apparently the handiwork of the Strathendrick Rotarians: perhaps the use of rotor-blades for the air- lift was their idea of a joke.

The hill is "owned" by Sir Archibald Edmonstone, who in the mid-1990s stopped the Dumgoyne hill race because of "environmental concerns". Uh-huh. So where are your eco- ethics now, Mr Knight of the Realm?

When asked why there had been no consultation with the MCofS, rotarian Roger Short remarked that there was an SMC member in the rotary club and he thought it was OK. There was also a non-veiled threat that any stone-tampering would lead to "withdrawn access". Leaving aside that Short is no landowner, merely a rotarian (whatever that is), any attempt to block routes on either Dumgoyne or the nearby WHW would be a major foot-blasting tactic on the lairds' part.

The first that the council knew of this was as a fait accompli (oh, how the aristocrats just love democracy), but with luck - and some canny logistics - this will remain a "breaking story", with the stone soon finding its way to a more suitable place amongst the screes at the foot of the crags. It's still on top at the moment, but there are those who feel that this particular stone will very soon meet its destiny.

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