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We're on the very edge of the Monadh Liath Mountains, not far from the Cairngorms.
Indeed, we're only about a mile from the village of Newtonmore.
I live down in Newtonmore, and every day, when I'm at home,
I take the opportunity of having a walk up here, over this bit of moorland,
over this little hill behind us, and down by the River Calder, which is a tributary of the River Spey.
Taking this little walk every day gives me an opportunity to refresh myself daily,
to prepare myself for the day ahead.
But, more important than that, it gives me an opportunity
to reconnect with this wildland on a daily basis.
I love this walk for the different resonances at different times of the year,
the different sensations you can experience with the changing seasons.
For example, in springtime, crossing the moorland below us here,
the air is filled with the sound of waders, curlews, oyster catchers, lapwings, redshank, it's fantastic.
And later on in the year, we can wander up to the summit of the hill,
look down on hidden Glen Banchor behind Creag Dhu, there,
and hear the sound of the rutting stags.
And that wonderfully primeval sound has the capacity to stir you to the very bone.
It's all about the rhythms of the land, the different seasons.
And I think it's an aspect of wildland that is so important.
It's vital that we look after these places.
Even a little area of wildland like this, only two miles or so from the busy A9.
I think there are three very good reasons for protecting areas like this.
One is for the recreational benefits that the hills and mountains can offer us.
I've spent a lot of time in my life encouraging people to come out and walk and enjoy areas like this -
to take exercise in the beauty and the grandeur of wildland like this.
And I think that gives us benefits, not only in physical fitness,
but also in our mental fitness, in a spiritual sense.
Because when you come up here you become aware that man suddenly seems quite insignificant
compared to the longer-lasting reality of the mountains,
of the woodlands, of the rivers, of the lochs.
And, thirdly, there's the cultural aspect of wildland.
You know, this wildland wasn't always empty. This glen wasn't always empty.
And I can take you a walk up there and show you the remains of 200 years ago.
Indeed, just below us here, there was once, 1,000 years ago, a Roman Catholic seminary.
It's hard to believe nowadays because the area's quite empty and quiet.
But there are all these cultural things
that have led to the music and song that we have today in Scotland.
And it all stems from this wildland.
And, you know, it's so easy to lose areas like this.
For every person like me who loves these places and works hard to protect it,
there are ten people who want to develop it in any number of ways.
On a wildland walk like this, variety is the name of the game.
Variety, contrasts, biodiversity.
And one of the great bonuses is, if it's wild and windy on the summit,
it's usually nice and calm and peaceful down here by the river.
Well, that's my wildland walk experience.
It's a lovely combination of moorland, hilltop and a wonderful river like this.
But you don't have to live in the Scottish Highlands to enjoy the wildland experience.
If you live in Edinburgh, you can go into the Pentlands.
If you live in Glasgow, you can go into the Campsies.
You can appreciate most of these things that I've been talking about.
The important thing is that you enjoy it, you appreciate it and you treasure it.
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