Dave Windle

Welcome to the anniversary issue of Mountain Views. This issue is dedicated to celebrating our 40th birthday. By now, members should have received an email newssheet, featuring the usual news and updates. We will revert to the standard format in 2021 for the Spring issue.

The first thing to do is thank Adam Watson and Drennan Watson for their huge contributions. We owe them an enormous thank you for their work in getting NEMT going in the first place and for their scientific input over the years. This scientific input has meant that we have always campaigned from a position of strength and has required people such as SNH to treat what we say with due weight.

The issue is split into four sections. We start with a summary of how NEMT is organised and what it does. We then dive back into the past with reflections from the previous chairs. One of these was Bill Brooker who is sadly no longer with us. We have contributions from Drennan Watson, Roger Owen and Jennifer Cook who have led NEMT since 1980. I took over from Jennifer in 2009 but have spared you my reflection as you will be getting quite enough of my opinions in other parts of the issue.

Next, we have some opinions of others. Grant Moir and Simon Blackett have kindly contributed their views. At times, they must have wished that we were annoying somebody else! And as NEMT is an umbrella organisation, it would be incomplete to not have a view from one of our key clubs, the Cairngorm Club.

Finally, we come to the future. We have an article by Nick Kempe on the challenges that he sees coming our way and then a view from me on what all this means for NEMT as an organisation.

Covid and the way that it plays out will have a profound influence on the future of NEMT. However, I haven’t commented. Had I written this piece at the beginning of August, I wouldn’t have guessed that Aberdeen would earn the dubious distinction of being the first city in Scotland to go into local lockdown. Who knows what will have happened by the time that you read this? I won’t be tempted into making even very general predictions. The irony remains in that the biggest influence on our future is something that, as NEMT, we can do nothing about.

I hope that you enjoy reading this special issue.

Adam Watson       © Allan Cameron (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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