Environment & Sustainability
Environmental Sustainability has always been an important part of my adventures in the outdoors. I am always concious of my impact on the landscape and act accordingly to minimise this by following a leave no trace philosophy. When guiding walks or skills courses it is important to promote awareness of the environment, our rights and responsibilities.
In Scotland we have some of the best access rights in the world thanks to the Land Reform Act (Scotland) 2003. It set out a framework of public access rights and tasked Scottish Natural Heritage to write the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. The code outlines how we can enjoy our right to responsible access by taking responsibility for our own actions while respecting the rights of other members of the public including people working the land. We all share the responsibility of protecting the environment.
What actions do I take?
Good planning and preparation before all trips helps me deliver safe and enjoyable learning experiences. It also minimises the impact of all the activities I provide as a small business and outdoor enthusiast. The following actions that I take apply to both my personal life and my business.
When travelling around the Scottish Highlands & Islands I make sure that I use local businesses and suppliers as much as possible. It is important to spend money in the local economy whilst visiting and working in different areas. Using local accommodation with locally sourced food has a positive effect on local areas. Building working relationships with repeat business we better understand each others needs. This is equally beneficial to their business and mine. I consequently work with like minded guides and service providers.
The Community buyouts that have taken place throughout Scotland are inspiring. When visiting these areas it is always interesting talking to the locals involved about their work. Often making a group donation or other contribution depending on the project.
I am an individual member of the John Muir Trust, which is charity that works with communties to protect and restore wild places. They manage amazing places including Ben Nevis, Ladhar Bheinn on Knoydart, Quinag and Sandwood Bay.
Any suggestions or tips?
I am always looking for ways to reduce my environmental impact and make my business more sustainable. If you have any ideas or suggestions then please let me know!