A visit this time to the Lammermuir Hills, a sweeping upland region of high moors, rolling cultivated farmland, and empty summits, the highest just under 2000 feet. They lie in Lothian District to the east and south of Edinburgh running into the Border Hills and together with the neighbouring Moorfoot Hills form the north eastern portion of the Southern Uplands. Many people assume that the Scottish Highlands are the remotest large area in the UK but these days it's actually the Southern Uplands due to a lack of Munros, likewise Corbetts, not much in the way of rugged terrain or really spectacular scenery, and a widely scattered population.
Lammermuir is derived from 'Lamb's Moor' and this area has been gradually stripped of its natural forests then cultivated by farmers and large estates for many hundreds if not thousands of years. Even the high summits, like Dirrington Great Law, 398 metres, seen above, have been managed by people for profit and gain over many generations.
On the other hand they do kill large amounts of wildlife just to preserve a few chosen species which end up getting shot and killed anyway. Not for the first time I found myself thinking that where you end up on human's judgement list of animals is all about power, money or whether they taste good. Fauna that do our bidding, make us a profit, are easily domesticated or controlled, or are just happy to see us and can demonstrate that fact are deemed "good" and become our friends, subjects, or simply dinner. Horses, Dogs, Cats, Cows, Pigs, Sheep, Deer, Grouse, Chickens etc are all "good guys" but may experience a wide range of endings.
Rats, Mice, Foxes, Crows, Magpies, Seagulls, Mink, Stoats, Weasels, certain Birds of Prey etc are traditionally classed as "vermin" because they compete with us for food or damage profits. Because it's so ingrained in our culture it seems very wrong to eat them and being predators they might not taste as good or carry disease.
If the figures given below in this link come from just one estate, then you multiply it by hundreds of other sporting estates around the UK you get some idea of the numbers of wildlife destroyed each year to protect a few species destined to die anyway. Just a thought.
Video today is one taken on the middle pitch of Crypt Route.V Diff. A multi pitch rock climb that starts up a vertical buttress near the summit of Bidean Nam Bian, in Glencoe, the highest peak in Argyll, then disappears deep inside the mountain via a rock fissure before re-emerging on the other side, halfway up another vertical buttress. It's a unique route and a rare experience to climb it which is why I picked it as a chapter in my humorous first book Autohighography. Anyone that's read the chapter description in question (Chapter 7 Crypt Route) might like this entertaining clip showing a more recent ascent. It looks and feels more like a caving trip and is a slightly different variation from the one described in the book although the tiny exit hole to finish looks the same. Several different options present themselves during the middle pitch of this highly unusual rock climb, all of them subterranean at some point of the journey.