Hills of Hame Winter Solstice competition: win a navigation training day

To celebrate the turning of the seasons, Hills of Hame is offering the chance to win a navigation course for up to four people for a day in the training areas I use in southern Edinburgh. I can tailor things

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Posted in Navigation, Pentlands

Book review: Navigation: Techniques and skills for walkers

Navigation: Techniques and skills for walkers. Second Edition. 2019 By Pete Hawkins. Cicerone Press 152 pp. RRP £9.95 (ISBN 9781852848910) Disclosure: This review is based upon a sample copy of the printed sent to Al McGowan, at his request, by

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Posted in Book reviews, Books, Mountain Training, Navigation

Fossil plants in the Fossil Courtyard for Fossil Friday

That’s a lot of fossils in a title! I’ve decided to do a short blog post on the Fossil Courtyard in the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (RBGE), one of the network of national botanic gardens in Scotland. The Fossil Courtyard

Posted in Edinburgh, Geodiversity, Palaeonotology, Scotland

Out of the oven and into the fire: renovating Dutch oven for outdoor cooking

I spent around 5 years in the US in my late 20s and early 30s and did accrete a lot of books from Powells, some homeware and other assorted kit that was shipped back to Cambridge, England in 2003. One

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Posted in Campcraft, Uncategorized

Contributing to ‘Exploring the Environment’ MTA/AMI workshop, Stirling, April 20th 1000-1600

With the help of a number of other MTA and AMI members, I’ll be helping out at a CPD workshop for outdoor leaders who are members of the two Associations in the Stirling and Bridge of Allan area. I’ll be

Posted in Geodiversity, Mountain Training, Scotland, Woodlands

First shot of the Edinburgh Cycle Hire experience

Edinburgh has had a bike hire scheme for a wee while and I’ve had to rescue a couple of their bikes and also won a free pass for a day from Just Eat Cycles via a Twitter competition, so I

Posted in Cycling and bikes, Edinburgh, Pentlands, Scotland

Pavement Palaeontology in the press

Back in the dark days of December I took Teddy Jameson, a senior features writer for the Herald, and his colleague Gordon round some sites in central Edinburgh. Most of the sites are ones that I visit on the Pavement

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Posted in Geological Walks (urban), Scotland

Do try this at home: Taphonomy with the kids’ toys

Another dinosaur excavation kit, accompanied by a fine selection of supporting materials, appeared in the house among the Christmas presents. The block with the plastic remains of the inevitable T. rex was larger than usual. And that made all the difference

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Posted in Geodiversity, Palaeonotology

Bavelaw

Wintery conditions have finally arrived in the lower hills in the Central Belt of Scotland. In the Pentlands the snow is lying but azure polar skies and mists as the sun gains strength afforded some spectacular views today while I

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Posted in Geodiversity, Pentlands

Snakestone specimen in the Cockburn

Dactilyoceras commune is a Lower Jurassic ammonoid often found in the sea cliffs of the Yorkshire Coast. Around Whitby they are common enough to feature on the coat of arms of the town in triplicate. However, these ammonoids have heads

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Posted in Geodiversity
Al is a Hill and Moorland Leader and has also completed the Expedition Skills module
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