Published on: 2018-05-29 | Category: updates | By: unclegusy2k
Last week I read possibly one of the Best Posts I have ever seen on any Facebook Page regarding ScotlandIt doesn't matter where about in Scotland the article is referring to as in my opinion the same rules and respect covers the whole of Scotland
The article was posted by Scott Mackenzie and it matters not who he is or what his jobs is eitherWhat does matter is that he is obviously passionate about ScotlandI like Scott cannot understand what mindset some folk have. Scott adds in his post that as someone who has worked in land management for over 25 years he came at this issue from a land management perspectiveHaving read his post I come to that same perspective as someone who knows nothing about Land management just an ordinary Scot who takes great offence by such behaviour and actions by others
Scott goes on "If you surveyed 100 visitors to this island (Skye) and asked one simply question “What is your reason for wanting to visit the Highlands and island of Scotland ?"I’m pretty confident that 99 of them would say “The landscape”Scotts next part is in total agreement from us at Scotlands Route 66 as it is not the first or sadly not the last that we will mention itHe adds "In my opinion decision makers on Skye and local government should always bear in mind that the draw to Skye is its landscape and environment accommodation roads and facilities are a means to an end for the visitor to achieve their goal of experiencing Skye’s landscapeI believe we also need to look at the Land reform act (regarding land access) to see where it can be adapted/altered to meet the ever changing needs to the environment and those who work it. I have always been uncomfortable with the idea that anyone can set up a business and benefit from someone else’s land and there work without having to seek permission and having no obligation to contribute a single penny of there earnings to its upkeep it’s unregulatedI’ve always believed though that you need people on the ground to help with managing these issues. Sometimes people need guidance from another person written information is only as good as the people organisations pushing it if people don’t see it they don’t know about it a bit like the Scottish outdoor access codeMy belief in people managing people in the landscape was reinforced yesterday when I was asked to take a look at the new “rock stacks” and stones patterns that had appeared in the Fairy glenThis next part of Scotts post I found horrific and unbelievable that it happened in the first instance
The Scared Scottish Landscape done for someones entertainment at a Severe cost to the original Landscape
Scott continues his post by adding "On my way up into the hillocks the area was already hooching with visitors. As I started to take a look around i was dismayed to see the area littered with with these stacks and patterns. The rocks had been pulled out from the hillocks and from an old stone wall. Not only is our natural history being damaged our cultural heritage is being destroyed tooWith a potential audience around me I decided to see what would happen when I started to remove the Rocks from the grazing areas. As I started people stopped to watch what I was doing. The first couple to approach me was an American couple and they politely asked why I was removing the stacksI gave them a brief history of the issues the area experiences and the damage building rock stacks courses by now the American couple had been joined by several other people all eager to listen. I went on to explain that the area is a working environment and the issues I spoke of are also damaging local traditional land based businessesBingo ! This was the thing that then clicked with them. They now started to understand that the Highlands and Islands was not the wilderness they had been led to believe. I suppose it’s a case of what sounds more enticing when your trying to fill your hotel/B&B rooms fill your mini bus or have a full group out on a photographic workshop romance often outsells factsAfter my non intended group chat I was then overwhelmed by the amount of people now wanting to help me clear the stacks and patterns as they said they now felt compelled to put something back. Now I had 6 young ladies from Germany Spain and the USA and a couple of children all giving up there time to helpAs I said before the difference in having someone managing visitors who want to access this landscape is hugeI’m not talking of car park attendants or site tour guides I’m looking at community’s working with landowners who can be empowered to do this. Rangers Gamekeepers anyone who works the landscape has the power to do this
The Horrific Stones circles made for fun
Although Scotts piece is referring to the Isle of Skye to me it goes for any part of ScotlandWe have a long way to go to achieve results in the management of visitors to our Country investment and infrastructure is required if we are to Welcome people and to ensure that not only are their perceptions met but the land and all that goes with it remains as isScott states many brilliant facts including "They now started to understand that the Highlands and Islands was not the wilderness they had been led to believe."To me that among the others is a powerful statement and his lesson needs to be stated to all those who come and visit and to all who Walk this beautiful country that is embedded with our culture and our History. Please this is Our Country please leave it as you find it we want people to visit and see Scotland for what it isFinally a Big thanks to Scott for letting us share this story as we feel unfortunately that it needs to be toldPlease feel free to share this as we feel it is such an important issue"