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Thread: Access Restrictions

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    There are probably very few people on OM climbing the Grahams butthere may be a few Marilyn baggers who occasionally look in so this may be of some interest.

    On Monday (20 April 2009) I climbed Druim Fada, aka Stob a'Ghrianain, from Glen Loy near Fort William. Immediately after crossing the bridge over the River Loy at the start of the walk I was confronted by a sign, obviously acquiredfrom the Forestry Commission stating no unathorised persons beyond this point. Another sign indicated a route to a stile and a path through the forest rather than approach the property at Puiteachan. There was a stile but no path and the further through the forest I went the worse the underfoot conditions became. At the upper extent of the forest there was a deer fence with no crossing point. Some distance beyond this fence was a new deer fence again with no crossing point.

    On my return from the summit I decided to go around the forest and join the track at Puiteachan. The new deer fence had to be climbed again but another new fence, which appeared electrified but had no signs to indicate this, ran downhill. It would be impossible to crawl under this fence as it is also constructed of two strands of barbed wire. Lower down a locked 7-8 foot gate forced me to climb another deer fence.

    The signage at the start of the walk is obviously misleading as there is no path and it the fencing and locked gate on the descent doesn't in my opinion conform to the access legislation in terms of the Land Reform Scotland Act 2003.

    Anyone climbing this hill should be aware of these access problems.

    I have contacted the Access Officer at Fort William and he is to check out my observations and reply at a later date. I have also notified the MCofS for their information.

  2. #2
    Mini Goon
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    Be interested to hear the outcome of this.

    Never had any joy of getting Access Officers to have prohibited signs removed.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch druidh's Avatar
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    There's a history of access problems in Glen Loy.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Druidh I was up Glen Loy a few months ago and never had any problems on that occasion although I was on the other side of the river.

    Jim the Access Officer for Lochaber has sent me a receipt for my e-mail so that is a start.

    I normally tell Hebe at MCofS of any problems I encouter as they keep records I think. I even sent an e-mail once in praise of an Estate's Access Route and Signs.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Kinley's Avatar
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    Lindsay ‚?? interestingly the owners at Puiteachan posted some of their perceived issues in a trip report of this hill on Scottish Hills.

    Scottish Hills report

    Was interested in your take on things ‚?? cheers.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Kinley that made for very interesting reading.

    My interpretation of the Land Reform Act 2003 is that he needs to make a proper route round his property not a stile to nowhere.

    I don't know what he thinks walkers will do to his kids either. We're there to climb the hill not to visit his house, family or pets. Hopefully the Access Officer will put him right in the near future. The elecric fence is a bit of a concern but I don't know what the law is in relation to it.

    Once I get my home computer fixed I'll be able to publish my trip report and photogarphs.

  7. #7
    Widdler dawn rigby's Avatar
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    Hi, I am the owner of Puiteachan.

    the stile and forestry signs have been errected by the forestry commision, as they are regenerating the forest behind the house. As far as I am aware, the stile has been there for over ten years now. We didnt put it in.

    Im sorry you had a tough job up the hill, but there is no designated path, and the going is boggy at this time of year. the deer fence isnt ours either, again that was put in last year by the forestry. It is to contain a herd of highland cattle that they plan to put in there to regenerate the forest, this summer. We have complained to them and told them they have made it difficult for hikers. We also made them build a stile further up the hill to enable hikers to cross onto ourland and walk around the garden, and down our road.

    I realise people dont climb the hill to see my house, family and pets. but we have had poultry attatched by dogs, and been killed, and strangers talking to my girls. We only have a small garden area fenced off, its not a huge area. and all i ask is that we at least have our privacy there. we never complain about people anywhere else.

    Im horrified at the fact that you have seen anelectric fence. we have never put one up, and I cant imagine the forestry doing so. The access officer is well aware of the route through the stile, as this is the official public footpath. it has nothing to do with us, Im sorry.

    The access problems in the past, as mentioned, where the previous owners, not us. they had a lot of problems and didnt allow anybody anywhere! We are trying our best to sort this out, which is why we now just have our garden fenced off.

    We were upset by the comments left on 'scottish hills report', as the gentleman in question directed everybody through our garden and over a brand new gate. The childrens bikes and toys are everywhere, how he thought there was no sign of life I do not know. But, alas, we did get a little upset.

    I shall get in touch with the forestry and get them to make an official sign to the stile and footpath.

    please dont hesitate to walk up our way, its lovely. we promise we wont shout. we are nice really! We talk to walkers almost everyday, we haveeven given them tea and biscuits in he past.! honest!

    thanks again, hope this helps.

    dawn and paul rigby

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch Kelvin's Avatar
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  9. #9
    ‹bermensch Hedgehope Aztec's Avatar
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    Hi Dawn,

    A really positive reply, if only everyone was like you. I suppose on the day when walking it's difficult to know who is responsible for the obstructions met on the route.

    PS if I'm round that way; no tea and biscuits, a wee dram will do!

    Kind regards

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch druidh's Avatar
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    Tea and biscuits? I'm on my way!

    Nice of you to come on here and set the record straight. I hope the FCS get it all sorted out for you.

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Dawn I'm interested in your reply as in my opinion the two signs at the start of the access road do not conform to the Land Reform Scotland Act 2003. One is restrictive and the other misleading. Who is responsible for installing these signs, I have no idea.

    There are two deer fences above the forest, one of which is new, neither have crossing points. I would have expected that anyone being directed through the forest should have egress points.

    The new fence to the west of your property appears to me to be electrified or is intended to be electrified although there are no signs. The two lower strands are of barbed wire so there is no way underneath unless you damage your clothes or skin.

    Nearer your house was a deer gate which was locked hence another climb.

    I have no criticism of you securing your property and I do not want to walk through your property, just around it toaccessthe hills.

    As said I don't know who is responsible for the signs, secured gate or the electric fence (if it is electrified)but hopefully I will hear in the near future from the Access Officer for Lochaber. The Access Officer for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland is always interestedaccess restrictionshence my reason for sending them a copy.

  12. #12
    Widdler dawn rigby's Avatar
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    The forestry commission have installed the signs. We have always had one 'friendly' sign directing people to the stile as we were running out of tea and biscuits! The land behind the house is all forestry commision, and was not a path until the forestry created it for the cattle last september. There has never been a designated path over the stile, just a scramble up the hill. It is very popular. The deer gate that was locked leads into the garden and is private access. It would be interesting to hear from other walkers as to which path they took before the forestry made the cattle path which seems to be confusing everybody. I will contact the forestry from my side and pass on your problems with negotiating the deer fence, I agree it is restrictive. I did not realise they had not put in further stiles. I can see now why people are automatically lead towards our garden. please tell me your response from the access officer and pass on any copies of my comments. If something is done, it will make life easier for everybody.I am positive though that the fence is not electrified. the forestry didnt warn us of this, and our water supply is up there, i dont want to be frazzled checking it.

  13. #13
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply Dawn. I will let you know what reply I get but I would expect that the Access Officer from Lochaber will first have to visit the location to verify my account of the problem and hopefully then speaking with the FC. I would have also thought that he would be making some kind of contact with yourself.

  14. #14
    Mini Goon Bob Mahon's Avatar
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    Isn't this what Scottish access is about? Discussion and consensus can solve most problems!

    I live in rural Northumberland and have a footpath through my front garden - most walkers are reluctant to walk through it (even though I have put up waymarkers) because it might cause a problem.

    From your response Dawn, it seems that:

    1. You want to keep your surroundings private.

    2. You respect wider access.

    This doesn't mean access is easy or waymarked! Perhaps the foresty commision should better waymark (and allow free access) the route to avoid problems. That should not be your problem though...

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Here is my trip report for the ascent of Stob a'Ghrianain. A few weeks late due to computer problems.

    I haven't heard from the Lochaber Access Officer as yet.

  16. #16
    Widdler dawn rigby's Avatar
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    The Lochaber Access Officer has been in touch with the forestry commission , and I have been informed that an official forestry sign, directing people to the stile, will be in place soon. also a sign on the metal gate leading into my garden will be signposted as a private entrance. The forestry have told me that the deer fence is in place to protect the publicand the route up the hill officially goes around it. So there is no need for any more stiles in place.

    There is now a large herd of highland cattle within the fence, and they are being monitored daily by the forestry, hence why the forestry signs are still in place at the foot of our road directing people to keep out. They are also widening roads and other things, so thereis plently of heavy machinery around. There is no electric fencing on the hill, but it can be put in to contain the cattle. So it may be there in the future.

    Hopefully the access officer should be in touch with Lindsay soon. He did not actually contact me at Puiteachan as the problem lay with the forestry not us. We have been told we are completely in our rights not letting people into our garden through the large metal gate.

    Im relieved something is finally being done about this. Is was causing worries that I could do without. THanks for your support. see you all in the futire up our hil!

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