Letter | Published:

The Access to Mountains and Moorlands Bill

Nature volume 29, page 502 | Download Citation



I AM glad to observe that you have called the attention of scientific men to the importance of Mr. Bryce's Bill. Perhaps nothing can better show the need of such a measure than certain facts in regard to the Clova district in Forfarshire, which is classic ground to the botanist; indeed, I think I may venture to say that it is the richest ground in the British Islands. From time immemorial a right of way existed through Glen Dale, and, I can remember the time when botanists could ascend any of the hills in that district without being subjected to the tender, though somewhat embarrassing attention of gamekeepers. I have good reason to believe that the case is somewhat altered in recent years, and that, after a man has gone hundreds of miles in order to see Oxytropis campestris growing in its only British station, he may find himself turned back just within sight of the goal. The thing can still be done by taking advantage of a curious fact in natural history, viz. that two gamekeepers cannot remain long in loving converse with three men: by keeping this fact in mind, one out of three may still study the botany of Clova. After having gone pretty well over Scotland I am glad to say that there are many places in which there is no need for Mr. Bryce's Bill. In most cases in which it is needed it is where “new men” usurp a power which the old lords of the soil never dreamt they possessed.

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  1. Edinburgh, March 24



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