IAT Visit to Scotland
The IAT visit to the UK and Ireland got off to a great start this past week. IATNL Chairperson Paul Wylezol and Treasurer Kevin Noseworthy arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 30 where, after evening and morning tours of the city, they met host and British Geological Survey Team Leader Hugh Barron who drove them to Fort William, the outdoor adventure capital of the UK.
Shortly after arriving in Fort William the IATNL delegation gave a 20 minute IAT/IATNL presentation to Scottish Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham and representatives from the surrounding Lochaber GeoPark. The presentation was warmly received and set a good tone for the remainder of the visit.
l-r, Kevin Noseworthy, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham, Paul Wylezol and Hugh Barron
The IAT also received a warm and sunny reception from Mother Nature, as the weather was perfect throughout the week with clear skies and temperatures in the 20C's every day. Hugh took advantage of the conditions by taking the group on a scenic hike to nearby Steall Falls in Glen Nevis
and a trek to the summit of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain, which used up 4 of its few cloudless days a year during our visit.
Finally, on June 3 the IAT delegation, including 6 members from Maine, attended a public meeting in Fort William arranged to educate the public and various outdoor adventure representatives about the geology of the Appalachian Mountains and the history and goals of the International Appalachian Trail. Presentations were given by Chris Townsend of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Graham Leslie of the British Geological Survey, and Richard Anderson, President of the IAT.
Work will now begin on forming an IAT Scotland steering committee with the goal of establishing an official chapter of the IAT.
On June 4 the IATNL delegation and Earl Raymond of Maine left Scotland for Northern Ireland, where they will spend two days meeting and touring with Northern Ireland officials before heading to Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. On the same day the Maine delegation headed to Inverness where they were to meet with the Highland Council before heading to Edinburgh and a meeting at the Scottish Parliament.
We'd all like to thank Hugh Barron and Graham Leslie of the British Geological Survey for their help in arranging the various meetings, taking us on outdoor walking and driving tours, and being overall superb hosts during our visit to Scotland.
For more information on hiking and outdoor adventure in Scotland visit:
♦ http://walking.visitscotland.com/walks/long_distance_routes (Walking Scotland)
♦ http://www.outdoorcapital.co.uk/ (Fort William/Lochaber - Outdoor Capital of the UK)
♦ http://adventure.visitscotland.com/ (Adventure Scotland)
♦ http://www.mcofs.org.uk (The Mountaineering Council of Scotland)
♦ http://www.ramblers.org.uk/scotland/ (Ramblers Scotland)