Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 11:32 UK

Global warming threat to climbing

Ice climber
Ice climbing has been a popular pursuit in Scotland

An ice climber based in the Highlands has warned warming temperatures threaten the future of the winter pursuit in Scotland.

Neil Smith, of Kyle of Lochalsh, is one of a number of a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) climate change witnesses.

The conservation charity has published new research showing the UK is leading the G8 nations in meeting targets aimed at protecting the environment.

But Mr Smith said winter conditions have changed because of milder weather.

He said: "I would hate to see Scottish ice climbing becoming confined to the history books.

"It would be such a shame, but it looks like a real possibility and within a relatively short time period."

Other witnesses in the WWF monitoring scheme have been drawn from Japan, Russia, France and Germany.

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