Allow small groups/family units into the hills again

Scotland is a beautiful country with a relatively low population density and wide areas of countryside. I believe allowing small groups (consisting of either a family unit or "bubble") to drive up to an hour to access the hills would be a relatively low risk activity for spreading the virus (outdoors, easy to maintain social distancing, if keeping driving time to a minimum would reduce the risk of spreading the virus to more remote areas with relatively few cases) providing people were sensible and didn't undertake unnecessary risks such as hiking in treacherous areas in poor weather.

Why the contribution is important

Many of us are itching to get back into the hills again particularly at this time of year. It looks like we're in this for the long run which means we need to build resilience and develop coping strategies for promoting physical and mental health without risking a resurgence of virus cases. As above I believe loosening restrictions on travelling to a place of exercise and opening up the hills is a relatively low risk measure (providing people are sensible). Speaking from personal experience getting out to the countryside has a massive impact in keeping me mentally and physically fit and I'm sure I speak for many others in this regard. The importance of having something to look forward to can't be understated and this would be a big deal for a lot of people!

by allanglasgow on May 05, 2020 at 04:16PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 50 votes


  • Posted by lindyloo May 05, 2020 at 16:29

    Totally agree. If it's safe enough for us to stand outside in a supermarket carpark for 20 minutes it's safe enough to climb the hills and get fresh air and goodness knows what the mental health boost would do aswell.
  • Posted by byminutes May 05, 2020 at 16:35

    This is already happening unofficially loads of neighbours have been doing this for weeks. Areangibg to drive, meet with family members and have day out with a picnic on the hills. If made official car parks and villages will be mobbed instantly. There has to be a local distance to introduce a wider network initially.
  • Posted by RP May 05, 2020 at 16:35

    Agree. Travelling a reasonable distance to exercise is not a huge increase in risk. Still respecting the 2m rule is appropriate and proportionate.
  • Posted by jdmacd May 05, 2020 at 16:37

  • Posted by DC May 05, 2020 at 16:48

    People do not become lost, benighted, or crag-fast in supermarket queues.
    These can be, and are regular occurrences in our hills and mountains which require the involvement of front line volunteers, ie. Mountain Rescue.
    They have their own families to care after.
    Social distancing is not possible during a stretcher carry.
    Protect others, keep Covid19 off the hills!
  • Posted by ljk84 May 05, 2020 at 17:03

    completely agree. We have a vast outdoor space we should be using it, sensibly
  • Posted by scotdavid63 May 05, 2020 at 17:10

    I agree, let's also try to get some local business going as well
    Keep popular car parks closed to limit numbers
  • Posted by Fifer72 May 05, 2020 at 18:11

    I'll accept that risk and go to the hills, Mountain Rescue can stand down. My decision, my responsibility. I admire MR but they don't make my decisions, I do.
  • Posted by morningsidemusings May 05, 2020 at 19:25

    Disagree. Lengthy and optional travel to remote areas seems inappropriate at this stage.
  • Posted by susanjgla May 05, 2020 at 22:21

    People do not generally become lost, benighted or crag-fast when they are walking in rolling countryside or on lower valley walks, on routes they know well from years of being walkers.
  • Posted by Free May 06, 2020 at 23:36

    Agree with most of the comments. Please do not underestimate the effect on my (and others) mental and physical health that being in the outdoors doing outdoor activities has. Like a previous comment my decision my risk - love the SMR, but please stand down if you cannot operate safely. I do not want you to risk your life for me. I and others will operate in the outdoors knowing this - taking risk assessments constantly is what we do. I would operate at 70 -80% of my capability I am sure others would be happy to do the same. 1 hrs exercise from your house makes me feel trapped when I would normally spend a whole day on the sea or in the hills and see nobody so cannot catch or transmit anything. Scotland worked hard for the right of access with responsibility - we can do this with the same message of leave no trace. There is no need to keep the outdoors closed anymore. Please please please open it up and let us travel a responsible distance to access.
  • Posted by cfm1 May 07, 2020 at 13:18

    I fully agree that we should not put an impossible burden on Mountain Rescue by undertaking the more exposed expeditions. However there are plenty of walks in lower hills and glens from quiet parking spots which can be undertaken with relatively low risk. Yes there is a risk from car travel to get to the walk but if that is seen as unacceptable then perhaps all road travel should be banned!
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