You Debate: the environment

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Lochaber’s physical environment is one of its most important defining features.

The climate, the wildlife, the landscape, the surrounding sea, all contribute to making Lochaber a very special place for residents and visitors alike.

At the same time the balance between using and protecting that environment in a sustainable way is delicate and easily disturbed.

Local prosperity and personal freedom are often in conflict with the long-term welfare of the place. What’s more, as with any conflict, it’s very easy for us each to become entrenched on one side or the other, and to avoid trying to understand the whole picture.

For that reason the Lochaber Times, working with the Lochaber Environmental Group, is starting a reader’s debate on a monthly series of pressing environmental issues that affect all of us here.

To start the ball rolling, we’d like you to consider the following questions and send your views – in not more than 200 words for each question – on either or both by email to The most thoughtful responses will be published in two weeks time.

1.     Tourism:

This brings a mixture of benefits and drawbacks, especially in remote locations. For the visitor it brings experience of new places, new cultures, it can be stimulating and informative and they sometimes bring important income into an area. On the other hand, many popular destinations are becoming swamped and the carbon footprint of holiday travel can be enormous.

Q: If the pattern of tourism could  change, what changes do you think would be best for Lochaber ?


NO F48 leg cartoon

2.     Cars:

In areas such as Lochaber cars are almost unavoidable as a way of travelling, and they give much valued freedom to drivers and passengers. On the other hand, fossil fuels are dirty and running out, tyre dust is a major contributor of water-borne microparticles, and many roads are becoming very, very congested.

Q: Again, if the pattern of car use could change, what changes do you think would be best for Lochaber ?

Email your answer/s to either or both questions – in no more than 200 words – to