Heading for the Scottish hills

DO you check if there's deer stalking taking place in the hills where you're planning to walk? If not, we'd encourage you to have a look at the Heading for the Scottish Hills website. This Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) service enables you to check ahead for possible deer stalking taking place in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This helps to reduce the chance of disturbing stalking during the peak stag stalking season (20 August to 20 October).

Each year the service has been expanded to include more locations, and this year a number of popular hills in the West Highlands have been added. More information will be included as the estates provide it, so if you're planning a trip and the hills you want to climb aren't included on the site, it's worth taking another look nearer the time.

The website (www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/hftsh) provides general stalking information for Munros, Corbetts and other popular hills on participating estates. This includes the approximate duration of stag stalking and the days of the week when stalking doesn't take place. Contact details are given if further information is required and there is also information about responsible behaviour for both land managers and walkers. The website sometimes refers walkers to other sources, such as estate websites, recorded phone messages, contact details or local signs, for more specific information about stalking on particular days.

The website helps walkers follow the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to try to find out where stag stalking is taking place and who to contact if further information is required. The Code also encourages walkers to follow reasonable alternative routes on days when stalking is taking place; not to cross land where stalking is taking place, and to avoid wild camping where stalking is planned for the next day.

SNH hope you find the service easy to use and would welcome feedback on HFTSH@nature.scot.

Happy hiking,

Cameron McNeish
Scottish Walks Editor
Email: cameron.mcneish@scottishwalks.com

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