HILL WALKERS AND VISITORS
How Can I Help?
- Observe the Highland Year
April Gathering sheep before lambing; heather burning. May Lambing time; nesting time. June Gathering sheep for clipping. July Gathering sheep for clipping. August The stag cull starts. September Gathering sheep to take off lambs; the beginning of the rut. October 20th The stag cull ends. October 21st The hind cull starts. November Gathering sheep, before putting out tups. February 15th The hind cull ends. March Severe weather; deer and sheep at lowest ebb and need shelter; disturb as little as possible.
- Check to determine whether there are any specific estate activities planned for the day/days in the area where you plan to take off for the hills. A minor adjustment to your plan may help to avoid disruption to the estate work, while ensuring that you have a more enjoyable and rewarding outing.
- Stay on recognised paths, tracks or routes and leave a note in the house or car describing route, in case of accident.
- Keep dogs on leads at all times.
- Be quiet - watch, learn and enjoy.
- Remember, you are a a stranger in a natural and wild environment. Be as discreet and unobtrusive as you can.
- Please take all your litter home with you.
- Avoid the risk of fire.
- Follow the country code at all times.
- Start at the local Tourist Office to check your route and learn who owns the ground.
- Call the owner, manager or keeper to check your presence will not disrupt estate activities and finalise your route.
A Code for Walkers and Visitors to Scotland's Hills and Mountains
Approach to the Hills
The approach to the hills is often through enclosed land and settlements. This land is used intensively and so visitors need to take particular care to choose sensible routes.
- Make use of public transport and share cars where possible to minimise congestion and protect the environment.
- If going by car, park safely off-road and do not block tracks or gateways.
- If possible, when passing through enclosed land and woodland:
- walk along tracks, paths or field edges
- use gates and stiles, leaving gates as you find them
- avoid damage to any fences or dykes that have to be crossed.
- Respect the needs and privacy of those who live and work in the countryside.
The mountain landscape is a great attraction for walkers and climbers and it contains important and sensitive habitats and wildlife. You can help conserve it by:
- Avoiding disturbance or damage to animals, birds, trees and plants.
- Minimising erosion. Avoid widening paths, cutting corners on zigzags and running downhill.
- Removing all litter and food scraps.
- Refraining from building new cairns or leaving waymarks.
- Burying excrement well away from paths of watercourses and not polluting streams or lochs.
The land is a place of work for many, such as farmers or keepers, who depend on it for their livelihood and are responsible for its management.
- Avoid disturbing farm animals.
- Keep dogs on a lead at all times. Avoid taking dogs into fields with livestock.
- Some times of year are particularly sensitive:
- Avoid sheep just before and during the lambing season (March to May)
- If you come across deer calves, leave them alone.
- Before setting out for the hills during the stalking and shooting seasons (critical period mid-August to mid-October) make local enquiries through the local Tourist Office or contacts listed in Heading for the Scottish Hills.
Enjoy the peace and solitude of the hills.
- Avoid making unnecessary noise.
- Keep groups small and act unobtrusively.
- If you come across equipment, leave it. Others may depend on it for work or safety.
We hope you all enjoy your days out and we hope that you understand and will take into consideration some of the management that takes place.