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.
Trees are often overlooked at the best of times, in favor of the more exciting and exotic wildlife that lives among them.
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.
I'm heading North to start a new project on Scotland's montane woodlands
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.