Glen Coe’s Lost Valley damaged by campfires!

This is not a title I ever wanted to see so when I was looking through the BBC website and saw this I must admit I felt upset, angry and very sad.

The full article can be found by clicking here

What is The Lost Valley?

The Lost Valley is the common name for Coire Gabhail. The word Coire is said to originate from the word Corrie, meaning cauldron. This gives the impression of a bowl or bucket shape. Some are more ‘cauldron’ like than others. Te Lost Valley is a site of specific scientific interest

The Lost Valley is a place of beauty. Whether you are passing through after descending from Bidean Nam Bian or just wild camping to escape the world, you are met with an almost prehistoric scene. The high sides of Gearr Aonach and Beinn Fhada heading up to The Lost Valley Buttress give the explorer protection from the winds of Glencoe.  The many waterfalls coming from all around are a site to be seen in themselves.

So what is the problem?

I like to think that noone goes out their way to cause damage to any area of beauty outside. That being said, clearly people are causing damage whether by accident or on purpose. This article talks about live branches being cut off trees, fragile Peatland being damaged by fire and over 200 bags of rubbish being removed over a period of time. These are not accidents, they are poor choices that people make. Many people when they are ‘learning’ about being outdoors, tend to mirror other people’s behaviours. If they see people starting fires or cutting down trees they will presume this is the done thing. This needs to stop.

So what can we do?

Rather than this post being a whinge about people and their behaviours I thought it would be worth coming at it from more of an educational angle.

  • RUBBISH – If you bring it with you, you take it away with you. This includes food. People will talk about how all food biodegrades. The problem  is that if it doesn’t occur naturally there we are introducing it to the area. This can cause problems for both flora and fauna.  Mike Rain ran a project
  • FIRE – Think, do I really need a fire? Is it to cook with? Take a stove instead. Is it to stay warm? Take extra clothing layers, hat, gloves etc. If you feel you really do need a fire then pause and think, really? Do I really need a fire? If really cold then consider getting inside your sleeping bag to stay warm. There really are many options that prevent the need for a fire
  • TREE BRANCHES – If it is still attached to the tree then please leave it there. Whilst some may just look on this as firewood, the reality is that the branch you are looking at is an integral part of an entire eco-system

If you are keen to get out and explore places like the Lost Valley then go for it! If you are unsure of how you can minimise your impact then please get in touch. We can run courses to help you learn about how you can act responsibly so that the outdoors is there for all of us to enjoy for a very long time