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Last Updated: Friday, 27 July 2007, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Weather service receives funding
The Cairngorms
The service takes in areas including the Cairngorms
Scotland's independent mountain weather information service is to be fully funded by the government for the first time, ministers have announced.

The Galloway operation will receive 36,000 a year, over three years.

It covers five geographical areas in the North-West Highlands, West Highlands, Cairngorms, South-East Highlands and Southern Uplands.

Thousands of climbers rely on the service for accurate information about conditions on Scotland's mountains.

The Met Office had expressed an interest in providing the specialist forecasts and dismissed concerns it might lack the expertise offered by the independent service, operated from Lauriston by Geoff Monk since 2004.

Communities minister Stewart Maxwell said: "It is absolutely vital we have a reliable mountain weather service to reassure walkers they have the best information at their fingertips."

The cash will come through the agency sportscotland, with a review of the funding in the final year of the package.

Walking, according to 2006 figures, was an activity undertaken by almost five million UK visitors to Scotland, generating more than 1bn.

Mountain forecast service storm
22 Nov 06 |  South of Scotland

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