A few weeks ago the folks at Summit Clothing asked for my opinion on a couple of interesting conservation and sustainability issues.
It's remarkably easy to sit in a centrally heated office, cosily hatching plans through the Winter. Distances look shorter, methods seem simpler and the prospect of a summer of fieldwork in the hills sounds positively straight forward.
One of the subtleties of the Scottish landscape is that everything is described as a hill. I've spent the last week up there (in the rain) on a variety of those hills doing a final spot of fieldwork before Winter closes in and covers everything in a few feet of snow.
Here in the UK we have huge sprawling cities, tens of millions of people and all the trappings of civilization. As such, I am hugely relieved that one can spend four days traveling, even with a car, and still regain that same sense of adventure that you might find half way around the world..
I am writing from the banks of Loch Ness en route ever further North, to the very top of our Island. Come September, John O Groats will mark the starting point for one of the largest collaborative fundraising challenges the nation has ever seen.