The Angry Corrie 50: Jun-Jul 2001

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Vox Pox 4

Bruce Smith, Broxburn

A public road near here passes through a farm. It has been shut since a week after the disease hit and shows the power of the farming industry. The emphasis is that the risk of the disease reaching a public road is greater than the right of traffic to use the road. Admittedly there are alternative routes, but the principle has been laid down.

I can sympathise with farmers, since I use the land that is their livelihood for my leisure. As a lot of my hill trips are part of races, I appreciate that organisers work closely with landowners, relying on their goodwill.

I tried to arrange access for a race across abandoned shale bings near Broxburn, but the owners - Hopetoun Estates - have a blanket ban on all activities on their land - even though a training run had me dodging motorcyclists.

The overriding feeling is that any for-profit event will find a way around the "ban", whereas any for-pleasure activity will bow to the prevailing pressure of conscience. So: on - League football, horse racing, the BUPA Great Caledonian 10K; off - walking, riding for pleasure, hill racing, the Midlothian 10-mile road race. The GC 10K is run by Nova International as a business venture, whereas the 10-mile race is organised by the local Lasswade club to boost club funds as an annual event.

Alec Keith, Inverness

Main memories of FMD:

  1. Utter frustration at sudden immobility - a realisation of how it must feel to suddenly suffer an "adverse health event", albeit on a very minor basis. Lucky buggers, aren't we, that FMD goes away like it does? MS doesn't.
  2. Amazement at the confusion all round at how to treat FMD. No one knows and everyone runs around like headless chickens.
  3. I've had so many fantastic hill days in my life it was asking very little to leave the hills alone for a bit to try to help people whose livelihoods were at stake. It feels like a big sacrifice but is minuscule. Twenty years of hillgoing for 2-3 months abstinence seems like a good swap.
  4. Walking past a Keep Out sign at Mullardoch dam. Very satisfying. Did the round of the loch to celebrate.

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