Stop this Stacking

Who would have thought that stones could be the cause of so much controversyBut it seems wherever you find tourists you'll come across the ever increasing stack of stonesNow I personally kind of understand why they started many moons ago albeit for religion or any another purposeStone stacking is basically a meditative artistic skill which can be produced anywhere with a growing global movement. Stone stacking utilises the materials found in nature and balancing using nothing more than the natural gravitational pull of the Earth. (Wow)Rock balancing or stone balancing (stone or rock stacking or whatever name it goes by) is an art discipline or hobby in which rocks are naturally balanced on top of one another in various positions without the use of adhesives wires supports rings or any other contraptions which would help maintain the construction's balanceWith all the reasoning behind Stone Stacking I personally feel it has now gone way too far than just for religion or as a hobbyI have heard all the reasons for and against and anyone surely has to come down on the side of against itWhen I did the NC500 this year I came across so many of these stacks I thought it was such a shame that people come from all over the World to see and capture Scotland for it's natural beauty but too many feel the urge to spend time building a stack of stones and then leave and I don't understand the point ?Even professional stone stackers and yes they do exist say that it is wrong for people to do this littering in natural areasThere is a large worldwide community of stone balance artists who share this concern and who practice a leave-no-trace approach in creating their temporary art. They apparently build their balances take some photos and then dismantle their worksThey all say they strive to avoid disturbing natural and protected areas

When I got to the top of the Bealach na Bà now classed as the one place everyone must visit you are confronted with is literally hundreds of these stacksFirstly that is not how the area should look like. This should be one of the most wild and remotest places in Scotland but now it is being turned into a fun parkThese stacks have been built purely for peoples amusement and serve absolutely no purposeWhat they actually do is destroy the fragile eco system that lives in this remote part of Scotland. Those who build them for fun are actually contributing to the destruction of what has been around the highlands for centuriesWe have a saying in Scotland "Leave nothing but Foot Prints" so please take your photos admire what has been present for centuries and what Mother Nature herself has built but please leave her to look after itEach stone that lays on that piece of ground or anywhere else has the possibility of being home to many creaturesThey are also important to many birds and other wildlife. The moving of stones exposes soil and exacerbates erosion destroying the cool undersides of the stones that are sanctuaries for millions of invertebratesWe also visited Smoo Cave and I was horrified when I reached the entrance to the cave to be greeted again by hundreds of Stones all stacked on top of one another purely for peoples own gratification or lack of knowledge of the place they are actually visitingSmoo Cave is like many places in the Highlands very fragile and a place that has taken thousands of years to get to its current statePossibly poor management at the Cave but I did quite rightly see signs which were rather inadequate for their purpose but still very visible asking people not to remove stones for the sake of stacking from a wall which is dated between 5-6000 years oldIf you visit have a look at all the missing parts that have been removed by people just for their own pleasure of building a wee stack of stones that one actually cares about

This part as rightly pointed out has taken 5-6000 years to get to its current state it has survived all this time but no sadly ignorant visitors thinks it is cool and the norm to destroy a part of the Highlands just to create a wee stack of stones prior to heading off to the next attractionI am not sure who Colin is but he has the right idea but I felt there should be more enforcement of it. As we witnessed folk happily taking from the wall but I felt that was more because of ignorance as they were about 10 being watched by mummy and daddyI certainly feel there is nothing wrong in creating Stone Stacks at the water front as stones there were probably washed up on the previous tide and on the next tide will return to the sea as is it's natural part of Mother Natures waysThese are just my opinion but to me what I loved about the Highlands where I grew up was it was as it is no one messed with it we were proud of it vast openness and its wildnessPlease come to Scotland and especially the Highlands have a look have a great time but yet again I like so many ask just one thing Leave only Footprints. Surely that is not a lot to ask when we Welcome you to our Home

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