560 episodes

A topical guide to life in the Scottish outdoors.

Scotland Outdoors BBC Radio Scotland

    • Science

A topical guide to life in the Scottish outdoors.

    From the Hills of Assynt to the Karakorum Mountains of Pakistan with Anne Wood

    From the Hills of Assynt to the Karakorum Mountains of Pakistan with Anne Wood

    Helen Needham hears from musician and composer Anne Wood

    • 32 min
    Dreich Spring, Brose and Kayak Fishing

    Dreich Spring, Brose and Kayak Fishing

    American Mink are an invasive non-native species which have become widespread in parts of Scotland after their release from fur farms. Rachel meets Karen Muller from the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative on the River Spey to hear why it’s important to catch the mink. They also scope out a potential site to set a mink trap.
    In his day job, George Sherriffs is an acquisitions librarian with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. But in the coming week, George is going to be running an incredible 356 miles between all the RBGE sites in Scotland to raise awareness and funds for the work they do. Mark went to meet him and hear how the challenge came about.
    Mark is in Dunbar Harbour with Alex Williams who discovered a passion for kayak fishing four years ago. He takes Mark for a paddle in the harbour and tells him how he got hooked on the hobby and what’s involved in fishing from a kayak.
    Our BBC Aberdeen colleague Donnie Mackay heads home to Lewis every April to help with the lambing on his family croft. This year he took along a recorder and made a lambing diary for Out of Doors during what was one of the wettest and coldest seasons he could remember.
    And it’s not just sheep farmers that have been having a hard time this spring. It’s been nearly impossible to get anything sown and the challenging conditions take a toll on farmers mentally as well as practically. We hear what the picture is like across Scotland from Katrina Macarthur, farming columnist with the Press and Journal.
    Stanley Robertson was a traveller and storyteller from Aberdeen and in 1988 he recorded an interview with former BBC Producer Doreen Wood on the Old Lumphanan Road. Recently Mark and Helen and went to seek it out for the Scotland Outdoors podcast. We hear an excerpt of them looking for one of Stanley’s favourite oak trees.
    If you’re from a farming background, you may be familiar with brose – a very traditional and simple oatmeal-based dish. In fact, it’s not too far removed from the much trendier oat milk that is a popular dairy alternative. Rachel visits a producer in East Lothian who is making Brose and show her the process.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Walking the Old Lumphanan Road with the Late Stanley Robertson

    Walking the Old Lumphanan Road with the Late Stanley Robertson

    Stanley Robertson was from the Travelling People and in the 1980's he published a book called 'Exodus to Alford' featuring stories associated with a particular road his people used to take each Summer when he was a boy. Former BBC Producer Doreen Wood went there with Stanley in 1988 and recorded an interview with him describing his memories of this special place. In this podcast, Mark Stephen and Helen Needham go in search of the Old Lumphanan Road with the archive of Stanley in their ears, offering a fascinating insight into the culture and beliefs of him and his people and a way of life that no longer exists in this part of the world.

    • 39 min
    Plants with Purpose, Pitlochry Paths and a Biomaterial Dress

    Plants with Purpose, Pitlochry Paths and a Biomaterial Dress

    Linda is in Pitlochry where a group of volunteers meet once a fortnight to help maintain the area’s much loved and well used path network. She hears why the group were founded and about the different kinds of work they carry out.
    Mark is in Dunbar Harbour, marvelling at the kittiwakes and exploring a site that was once home to a fish hatchery.
    And not far along the coast in North Berwick, Rachel meets artist and campaigner Julie Barnes, who created what is believed to be the largest mural in the UK made entirely from marine plastic.
    Is spring finally here? After a very damp and dismal start to the season, Pennie Latin looks hopefully towards to the first glimpses of new life in Spring and thinks about they make us feel.
    The results of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2024 are out! The house sparrow has topped the list once again but what do the rest of the results tell us? We find out live.
    Linda goes on a tour of Glasgow City Centre with Niall Murphy, director of the Glasgow City Heritage Trust. He shows her some of hidden architectural gems and tells her about how the city centre developed over the years.
    Plants with Purpose is a five year year initiative set up by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to research how we could use plants to combat extreme urban weather events. Mark finds out more as he visits the rain garden area of the RBGE in Edinburgh.
    The fashion industry is notoriously unsustainable, and designers are working on how to improve that. Maud meets one such person, Emily Raemakers who has been experimenting with natural materials including mushrooms, algae and apple leather.
    And Mugdock Country Park is a popular location just north of Glasgow with woods, trails and a 13th century castle. It not only attracts families and dog walkers but TV productions and Hollywood movies. Linda meets Pam Grieve, the park’s Development Officer to hear about what’s involved in hosting a blockbuster film crew.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Rain, Lambing, Badgers and more Rain

    Rain, Lambing, Badgers and more Rain

    In this week’s Scotland Outdoors podcast, Mark chats with Landward’s Cammy Wilson about his sheep-farming career. We hear an excerpt where Cammy is telling Mark the story of Fiona, the 'world’s loneliest sheep'.
    Killiechassie Burial Ground near Aberfeldy holds just six graves, five of which are covered over with recumbent flat slabs. For years, it was allowed to become neglected but in the 1990s, the Breadalbane Heritage Society started to take an interest and discovered that it not only dates back hundreds of years but also has connections to King Robert the Bruce and the Wolf of Badenoch. Ian Stewart shows Rachel around.
    On last week’s programme, a listener got in touch to ask how they could stop badgers from leaving droppings in their garden. Mark meets with Eddie Palmer, the chairman of Scottish Badgers, to learn about the ways that we can stop badgers from causing problems in our gardens.
    A Scotland-wide test of the nation’s rivers for microplastics, pharmaceuticals and various other chemicals is underway. The study has started in the north east with sampling being carried out on the rivers Dee and Ugie, which takes in both rural and urban areas. Rachel met with Dr Jessica Gomez-Banderas on the riverbank near Peterhead to find out about how they take the samples and what they’re actually looking for.
    In March, Queen Margaret University opened a new state of the art outdoor learning hub. The facility aims to improve understanding of outdoor learning amongst the teaching profession, whilst also enabling the community to connect to the natural world in new ways. Mark meets with Patrick Boxall, lecturer in Education, to find out more.
    Over the last wee while, thousands of new trees have been planted on the nature reserve at Loch Ardinning near Glasgow as part of a project by the Scottish Wildlife Trust to create a new oak woodland at the site. To stop the grassland chocking out the saplings, staff have been laying mulch mats and recently they roped in some helpers who were on a corporate volunteering day. Rachel chats to Chris Thomson from the Scottish Wildlife Trust and his corporate volunteers from SPL Powerlines Lee, Cassandra and Lewis.
    The Natural Trust for Scotland have built a new oak tree nursery as part of the long-term sustainability of the Old Wood of Drum. The wood dates back to Robert the Bruce, and the team there have been really busy planting and growing from acorns harvested from the wood. Mark meets NTS Woodland Ranger Bronwen Thomas to find out more.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Ayrshire Farmer Cammy Wilson shares his Passion for Sheep

    Ayrshire Farmer Cammy Wilson shares his Passion for Sheep

    Mark Stephen visits Youtuber and TV presenter Cammy Wilson on his farm in Ayrshire

    • 20 min

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