One reason Scotland is so special (apart from the amazing scenery, history, people and whisky) is the longstanding principle of the “right to roam” enshrined in the 2003 Land Reform Act. It means you can, within reason, go pretty much anywhere across wild land and camp for 1 or 2 nights as long as you leave no trace. For many people from overseas this means the Challenge will be their first experience of being able to roam across pathless ground. The freedom is exhilarating but you may find you forays away from the path take you onto very rough ground. Many people expect rocky ground but the sogginess and bogs are often more energy sapping than anticipated!
The right to roam does though come with responsibilities and we encourage all Challengers to respect those for who that land is their home of week place. If you are new to Scotland please take the time to find out about your rights and responsibilities by clicking here. On our access news page you will find some reasonable requests from some of the estates with which we would ask you to comply.
Everyone should be aware by now of the demise of the bridge at Carnoch which affects those starting at Mallaig and heading for Sourlies bothy. This is a truly dangerous river in spate and sadly people have drowned in the years before the bridge was built. Because of this all this year’s participants have been informed and those whose routes have been affected have been given advice on suitable FWAs.
The loss of the Carnoch Bridge brings into focus the vulnerability of all bridges in remote locations, Many of which are old and in varying states of repair. Scotland’s stormy climate burns rise and fall very quickly and a burbling burn a few inches deep can soon become a raging torrent. Every year some are lost and are often not replaced. We cannot possibly know the fate of all bridges every winter and often the first news we have of a bridge down is a Challenger telling us as they report in at Montrose. We do though share any information we have particular on those routes popular with Challengers. You can find this information on the access page along with a lot of other useful information about construction projects and reasonable requests from some of the estates that we encourage you to respect.