Saturday, January 25, 2014

The madness of King Andrew!





Outdoor folk and environmentalists who keep a close eye on mountain news around the net, cannot have failed to have picked up on what has become an increasingly bizarre access dispute north of the border. A situation which this blog has already highlighted. The Ledgowan estate in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands in owned by a Yorkshire company, Rainheath Ltd,registered at (North Hill, Dishforth, Thirsk) which attributes 96% ownership to Andrew Simpson. Since acquiring ownership, the aforementioned Mr Simpson and his family has seen fit to control their shooting estate in the manner of Highland Clearance despots. The estates’ lickspittles and members of the Simpson family have been using intimidation and strong arm tactics to dissuade local inhabitants of the nearby village of Achnasheen (population 50) and hillwalkers from passing over the 11000 acre mountain estate.

A full account of the ongoing situation can be found in forensic detail on Andy Wightman’s excellent Land Matters website. The latest missive from Andrew advises that... all walkers met on Ledgowan will be asked for contact details, adding: ‘If this is not forthcoming or staff consider there is any reason for doubt they will take a photograph of the individuals and or their vehicle.

The Orwellian tone of Simpson’s latest intimidation tactic notwithstanding, what I ask will be the reaction of estate goons to those members of the public who refuse to have their photograph taken? Given the current confrontational stance of the Ledgowan Estate and their latest provocational stunt, I am left wondering what exactly is the local police force's take is on a situation which has the potential to boil over into violence ? 

In the mean time, the opprobrium directed at Simpson from outdoor organisations, the local authority and even other Scottish sporting estates embarrassed by this feudal relic, appears to be water off a duck’s back-if there are any ducks left on the Ledgowan Estate!- as far as this distinctly chauvinistic buffoon is concerned.

UKC Forum Debate
 

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