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Changes

Guest blog and photography by Chris Puddephatt from 31st May 2017. It’s six weeks since my first visit on that cold, wet, muddy day and the landscape was still wearing its brown winter cloak. Not anymore! Lots of green lushness and flowers blooming. Heath spotted orchids line the track, and there’s sundew in the wet ditches at the sides. I see lots of walkers today, all taking advantage of the perfect conditions for a trip to the top. Joining Andy and Mark, they’re making pace across the peat, the finished work snaking back like a ribbon. Every one of the walkers uses it. The path is making their journey easier and drier. Of course, the main benefit is that they’re not trampling across a wide swathe of boggy ground any more, and the recovery has already started. Watching Andy drive the digger, I can see he’s no novice; whether it’s gravelly top dressing or turf, each bucketful arrives with amazing precision. I set up my camera to record a time-lapse sequence and sit down for a while. It’s going to take

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A Cheeky Raven and Cheeky Dippers

Guest blog and photography by Chris Puddephatt from 27th May 2017. It’s looking like a lovely day, and I’m walking in with the “top path team”, as I think it’s my last opportunity to shoot work at the Bealach for this season. The journey is becoming familiar now. A few miles later and we’re off the track and chatting to the “lower path team” briefly before the final assault on the North Face. This part of the journey always splits the field, as we all have our own speed up the gully. Part way up the gully, I see Rab with his head down in a tiny burn; he signals that I should be quiet, and I’m thinking that he’s found some wildlife. I’m totally fascinated when I find out that he’s making a sound recording of the water trickling its way down hill, and that its part of a collection he’s compiling on his travels. Every recording is unique, he explains. Yes, he’s properly appreciating something that we all take for granted, and I love the idea. At the ridge,

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A Hole Lode of Peat

Guest blog and photography by Chris Puddephatt from 18th May 2017. A heavier rucksack for the long walk today; I’m taking a tripod and a heavier camera with the intention of getting a time-lapse sequence. I’ve set the camera to take one photo every second for one hour, and this should turn into two minutes of time-lapse. Just got to get there first, and find a suitable section of path work to point the camera at. And no rain for that particular hour either. In the car park, Chris Goodman pedals his way to meet me, whilst I get bitten by a couple of midges. Local entrepreneur Marianne has sold me the new credit-card-sized Smidge just in time! Me & Chris spend the next 2 hours walking and blethering. That’s a new word for a Sassenach like me, and I’m finding that I like it. Up at the path, Andy and Mark have made a lovely job of the first section from the track. We find them about 200 yards in, scratching their heads: they need to find some more gravelly


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