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The Munro Society

Any mountain in Scotland over 3000 feet in height is classed as a Munro. Munros are named after Sir Hugh Munro, a British mountaineer, and the first person to create a list of them all in 1891. In recent years, Munro Bagging has become a popular activity for hikers, walkers and outdoor lovers to challenge themselves to climb as many Munros as they can.

Membership for The Munro Society is open to anyone who has completed all 282 Munros. We spoke to Anne Butler, Vice President of The Munro Society, to find out more about The Munro Society> and how they give back to the landscapes they traverse.

Images © The Munro Society

The Munro Society
Formed in 2002, The Munro Society (TMS) is an organisation for Munroists (people who have completed a round of Munros) to 'give something back to the hills'. It aims to provide a forum for Munroists to share their interests in, and knowledge of, Scotland's mountains, and provide an informed body of opinion on matters affecting the Munros and Scotland's mountain landscapes.

TMS differs from most other hill walking clubs, not only with the entry qualification, but also in having no geographical base. TMS members are spread throughout the UK, with 40% living in Scotland, and several are based overseas in Europe and the USA. Despite this geographical diversity, meets, newsletters, journals and the annual dinner have established a sense of identity amongst our members.

Munro Society members remain active on the hills; multiple rounds of Munros, Munro Tops, Corbetts, Grahams, Donalds and Furths have been completed, with several members also completing a Full House.

The Society has an active social side, with 3 weekend meets a year and an annual dinner weekend, which includes a lecture, a mountain photography competition and the President's walk. TMS also hosts a lecture at the Dundee Mountain Film Festival every year, in honour of Irvine Butterfield, a founding member and first President. Members receive 3 printed newsletters a year and a biennial Journal is produced with Journal No. 6 being published in 2022, our 20th anniversary year. The day to day running of TMS is performed by 10 committee members, led by the President, who serves a two year term.

In 2019 TMS launched the Munro Legacy Exhibition at the AK Bell Library in Perth to mark the centenary of Sir Hugh Munro's death. The exhibition celebrated Munro's life and the legacy he left behind. Since 2019, the exhibition has been displayed at various venues throughout Scotland.

A programme of 'heightings' (mountain measuring using modern GPS survey techniques) was introduced to establish the definitive heights of borderline Munro and Corbetts around the 3000ft level. Following the surveying of 20 marginal summits, 3 peaks were reclassified or removed from the Munro/Top list. Details of the heightings project were documented in the book 'Scaling the Heights'.

TMS also maintains the 'Canine Completers' database which records the non-human Munro, Corbett and Graham completers.

Members have a huge collective understanding of the changes in the hill environment that have occurred over the last few decades. In response to these changes, TMS maintains the 'Mountain Reports' project. The project aims to be a subjective and ongoing record of the natural and man-made changes within the mountain environment.

As part of its objective to 'give something back', TMS regularly sponsors the Mountaineering Scotland (formally MCofS) Aviemore-based Winter Mountain Safety Lectures; 400 people have attended these lectures over the years. Also, as part of its educational programme, TMS sponsors the annual Night Navigation courses (again delivered by Mountaineering Scotland); on average 75 students attend these courses each autumn.

TMS has planted 914 trees (the metric height of a Munro) as part of the natural regeneration of the Knoydart peninsula.

To ensure that future generations have access to the thoughts and activities of those that preceded them on the mountains, TMS has a well-established archive concentrating on matters related to Munros and Munroists. The archive is based at the AK Bell Library in Perth, and is a thorough record of TMS activities, with individual records, diaries and logs, photographs of hills (to allow comparison in future years) and a series of interviews with early Munroists stored on DVD.

To mark its 20th anniversary, the Munro Society is producing a short film titled 'Scotland's Mountains - The Legacy of Sir Hugh Munro'. The film will be shown at film festivals during 2023.

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If you're feeling inspired by the challenge, take a look at our best-selling book, The Munros: The Complete Collection of Maps. Made for outdoor enthusiasts and filled with HARVEY mapping of all 282 Munros, this book will help you plan and research your next expedition into the Scottish hills.

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