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Why would anyone do that?

Guest blog by Chris Goodman, Path Project Officer for the John Muir Trust, from 17th May 2017. I’m stood on the Bealach Mor on the ridge of Suilven with path contractor Scott Murdoch. It’s mid-April, the first day of the Suilven path repair work and we’re looking over the site. But Scott’s attention is drawn by a stone wall on the ridge a couple of hundred yards from us and he’s gazing towards it. It’s some bit of work, a substantial wall that’s withstood decades of gale force winds and drifting snow. You can tell Scott’s impressed by it. ‘Wow, can you imagine walking up here every day to build that?’ he says and then adds, ‘Why would anyone do that?’ I turn to look at him and begin to speak but then he catches my eye and we burst out laughing. Scott and his team will be walking up here every day for the next month to build a path, not that different in the big scheme of things to building a wall – why would you do that? It’s

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What’s different about Suilven?

Guest blog by Mandy Haggith, a director of the Assynt Foundation. Suilven is often described as an ‘iconic’ mountain, and it is certainly distinctive, with its long side-profile and sugar-loaf mounded summit. From different angles it looks like an elephant, or a camel, or a whale.  From the sea it is an unmistakable marker post for finding your way into the safe harbour of Lochinver, and its name may result from this, translating from the Gaelic as ‘Eye Mountain’ (suil is eye, ven a corruption of bhein, from ben)  suggesting that it’s the mountain to navigate by. But Suilven is not just an intriguing-looking hill, it is politically iconic as well. What’s different about Suilven is that it is one of just a few of Scotland’s mountains that belong to the local people. In 2005, Assynt Foundation bought it, along with Canisp, Cul Mòr and Cul Beag, as part of a community-buyout of two large (44,000 acre) hunting estates and the ‘big house’, Glencanisp Lodge. This was the first substantial purchase under the terms of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, which

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