Hill walking and hiking alone should be allowed as a form of exercise.

Why the contribution is important

Mental health of people in cities is suffering badly - could help some greatly

by EMG1 on May 06, 2020 at 10:08AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 98 votes


  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 10:13

    Totally agree it’s good for the soul
  • Posted by lc73 May 06, 2020 at 10:19

    Agreed - provided every care has been taken to ensure that you won't need to call on the assistance of emergency (including search and rescue) services.
  • Posted by federicabertolini May 06, 2020 at 10:19

    The expanse of the Highlands is the best place to keep people apart
  • Posted by Spaceman May 06, 2020 at 10:29

    I agree completely I’m suffering badly from anxiety’s we used to walk the hills perfectly fit non smokers non drinkers my wife and I 74/71 probably fitter than some 40 year olds
  • Posted by Jane May 06, 2020 at 10:33

    Agree - travelling to and parking at popular locations may be a challenge but could be managed.
  • Posted by Tomscore May 06, 2020 at 10:35

    Yes agreed, in most cases social distancing could be easily carried out.
  • Posted by Ziggy May 06, 2020 at 10:35

    People who hill walk should be self sufficient so removing the need to stock up at point of walking. Must leave one space between their car and next one near them. The car park ticket would show who was the later arrival who did not comply with this request.
  • Posted by Wanamuffin May 06, 2020 at 10:44

    Alone or in household groups. To include overnight camps/bivvies.
  • Posted by tmcewan14 May 06, 2020 at 10:48

    I am aware hill walking isn't the most important issue that needs to be addressed by the Scottish Government. However, I am a young lad from Glasgow and escaping to the hills at the weekend was a gift I treasure deeply. I would love to even just go on a hike by myself or with a family member I love with.
  • Posted by camerj May 06, 2020 at 11:07

    Within a restricted radius of your own home but not people from Glasgow for example travelling out to Arrochar or similar.
  • Posted by slf May 06, 2020 at 11:07

    I agree hiking is good although I dont like the idea of encouraging people to drive about again. Some people just drive to the hills look at them, leave their rubbish and then drive home. They dont hike. My local area in the centre of Glasgow is now beautiful thanks to the lockdown. The skies are clearer, wildlife is out, people are out walking, jogging and cycling. I am suddenly loving where I live and dont feel I need to go on holiday to relax and chill out.
  • Posted by Greenside May 06, 2020 at 11:16

    Opening up access to areas surrounding towns and cities to allow people to hike and walk is to be encouraged. The only increase in risk factor is driving a modest distance to the location, which overall is a low risk activity. This would be outweighed by the significant reduction in risk of receiving/passing on an infection when compared to the alternative which is walking in busy city streets.
  • Posted by aloneinthehills May 06, 2020 at 11:18

    Totally agree
  • Posted by HTML May 06, 2020 at 11:37

    Really....i have been trapped indoor since the lock down to prevent my elderly father from catching the Virus. i completely understand why people want to go hiking/hillwalking, as i deeply miss that. But think about people working on the front lines (all key workers) and how scared they are when going to work. It may not seem a big deal to go walking for a while where no one is about. but that is not the point....some people will have to drive to get to those places = increase the chance in a traffic accident and what if you have an accident during walking? its these factors that needs to be taken into account, even the little things we can do to lessen the burden for people who are risking their lives for us.
  • Posted by twg8888 May 06, 2020 at 11:42

    Hillwalking was a vital part of my life before lockdown, I discovered it as a hobby in 2017 and since doing so my mental health has drastically improved. Restricting the public to their local area is quite frankly cruel and will lead to severe mental health problems. Social distancing can easily be observed while walking the hills of Scotland, on top of the fact the virus is much less likely to transmit outdoors surely this is a safe activity? The strain on the NHS is also not an argument to beat this proposal with anymore as we can see it is coping and we're past the peak. I'd happily sign a form waving my rights to mountain rescues services if it allowed me back on the hills too as I understand they are volunteers.
  • Posted by conniel May 06, 2020 at 11:45

    Absolutely agree. Good for mental and physical health and far easier to maintain social distancing than in villages, towns and cities.
  • Posted by can1793 May 06, 2020 at 11:50

    I can see that this inst going to be top of the governments priority list but it is something that is great for the soul and mental health. There are plenty hills and outdoor spaces that this can be easily introduced without the need to put in place additional social distancing measures to enable it happen. Its time to give the public back a little something that can be done quickly and easily.
  • Posted by Steven_Gray May 06, 2020 at 11:55

    I agree in principle but feel a maximum distance from home should be in place too - hardly seems sensible for those in central belt to go to Glencoe, Aviemore, etc as that would mean more fuel/toilet stops and therefore more close contacts for virus spread.
  • Posted by Lornab May 06, 2020 at 12:00

    Walking is my salvation at the moment and is holding my sanity in place. We are much safer away from city streets in terms of social distancing
  • Posted by borisj May 06, 2020 at 12:03

    Set off with no symptoms, develop symptoms on route and get an airlift or ambulance back to the hospital... how many people do you infect in that little adventure ?
  • Posted by LauraJones May 06, 2020 at 12:12

    The pressure on mountain rescue need stop be considered but we need more freedom to exercise beyond our 1hr walk from the doorstep
  • Posted by adam309 May 06, 2020 at 13:28

    The risks mentioned above (needing mountain rescue, onset of Covid symptoms part-way through a hike) are negligible compared to the risks of the status quo, i.e. of continuing to make everyone exercise in busy parks and pathways in towns and cities.
  • Posted by NeilA May 06, 2020 at 14:04

    Absolutely agree. Work with the MRTs to ensure they have appropriate PPE. Make sure walkers are strongly advised against anything too adventurous (i.e. with a high risk of needing rescue). Don't re-open accommodation and strongly advise against using shops in remote areas. Advise use of petrol stations with pay-at-pump facilities and regular disinfecting. With those measures in place, the risk associated with hillwalking in any part of the country is small compared to the risk of everyone exercising in confined spaces in cities.
  • Posted by AlexaJoy May 06, 2020 at 14:46

    I think that it is important to introduce travel, such as hiking and hillwalking. I thought it was a mistake to close "the mountains" in the first place. I understand that to minimise the spread of Covid-19 people were discouraged to gather in small towns/villages however there are acres of uninhabited land in Scotland to access. It was very contradictory to allow people to wander around Tesco etc where there were throngs of people but not walk in isolation in the highlands. I also think that camping and campsites could be opened again.
  • Posted by YMCA May 06, 2020 at 15:01

    Agree open our wonderful hills
  • Posted by James May 06, 2020 at 15:20

    Back when we thought the NHS was going to be overrun with inpatients it was sensible to close off sports that might risk the rescue service. Now that A) the number of active cases in scotland is less than 1 in 10,000 and B) hospitals are actually asking people to come forward because they are under capacity and under usual numbers for the time of year, there really isn't much justification of keeping these areas empty. If anything you are focusing the problem in high population areas instead of spreading it out.
  • Posted by Gillon May 06, 2020 at 19:45

    I am sorry but as a resident and the partner of a NHS Highland frontline employee I have to say the very last thing the Highlands need at the moment is an influx of people heading to the hills, This is not easy for me to say as my business is going under because of covid-19 but we cannot risk tourists coming here currently, It just takes one person to introduce it here and it would be a disaster for reference please look at what is happening in Portree. Sorry but the Highlands are closed for a very good reason and the vast majority of Highland residents want this to continue and we feel it is exceptionally selfish of people to go on about big empty spaces, This is our home, This is our community
  • Posted by Ossian May 07, 2020 at 10:55

    I can see why truly remote communities don't want visitors, but there are many hills in easy reach of the towns and cities of the central belt, and car parks which are not in communities. I don't see how opening these car parks would cause any issues? People driving for around an hour will not need to stop and parking away from villages means local people will not be at increased risk.
  • Posted by JohnA May 07, 2020 at 13:37

    Outdoor activities (such as hiking) with only members of your household should not increase the transmission rate greatly. You could trial this by putting a restriction on how far you are allowed to travel to access the outdoor space in the first instance and if it goes ok, widen the travel restriction. I think the wellbeing benefits would be great and the transmission downsides small. There is a concern of Mountain Rescue and similar services being under more pressure if this is allowed. You could add some rules that would mitigate this, for example (as with everything in this lockdown, these are mostly self-policed anyway): - Some guidance that only those with experience should be going outside. - Not allowing it on days with a poor weather forecast. - Having a time limit on how long you can go outdoors for. - Requiring all outdoor activities (hikes etc.) to start before a certain time of day. - Limiting access to beauty spots and heavily trafficked trails perhaps by using permits available on a website.
  • Posted by BarbaraAnnGrigor May 07, 2020 at 18:42

    I agree with the majority of comments here... those of us without cars/cycles and who would normally walk a fair distance on a regular basis are yearning to go further afield. It doesn't have to be that much of a distance but certainly can't be limited to an hour.
  • Posted by aloneinthehills May 08, 2020 at 10:57

    Totally agree
  • Posted by aloneinthehills May 08, 2020 at 11:04

    Totally agree. Restore access to our hills and coastline
  • Posted by LesFraser53 May 09, 2020 at 14:34

    Far too risky. I live in a village close to a town and now watch a constant stream of walkers and cyclists go by. Not an issue in itself as people generally are good at social distancing but having that number of people jumping into cars for remote places would be a nightmare.
  • Posted by waxwing May 09, 2020 at 16:07

    Yes, definitely. The number of people injured in road accidents while driving to the hills must be tiny. So is the number injured while walking. The health benefits, both physical and mental, of hill walking far outweigh any work that it will create for the NHS. Also (I know a number of doctors and nurses) hospitals are currently much quieter than usual! Routine operations have largely stopped and far fewer people are turning up at A&E. There is no lack of capacity in the NHS!
  • Posted by joannethin May 09, 2020 at 18:45

    Essential to give people better access to the outdoors with safe space and safe parking. Many people are walking in their local hills such as the pentlands if they can walk or cycle there but some are driving. Some relaxation to allow people access who cannot get to hills without a car needs to be permitted and for others too to widen their access, ensuring to keep the R number in rural areas/highlands low. Ask people to go self sufficient and not interact with local communities and stay in very small groups. To avoid a flood on the first weekend, give half the alpahbet saturday and the other half sunday.
  • Posted by Bethany18 May 11, 2020 at 16:52

    Hiking is a very socially distant activity therefore low risk - should definitely be allowed
  • Posted by Claresy May 11, 2020 at 21:17

    We can socially distance with ease and it’s very beneficial for mental health.
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