Highlands & Islands

Ski boss's snowberries 'a sign of hard winter' for 2012

Colin Mathhew's snowberry bush
Image caption Colin Mathhew's snowberry bush

A snowberry bush that "predicted" hard winters in 2009 and 2010 is showing signs that the coming winter will also be cold and snow-filled.

Colin Matthew, then head of ski patrol at CairnGorm Mountain, said that when the berries appeared early and were large a severe winter followed.

Both 2009 and 2010 were good winters for Scotland's ski centres.

CairnGorm, Glencoe, Glenshee, Nevis Range and The Lecht were able to open early in 2010.

Glencoe opened before Christmas for the first time in 10 years.

Mr Matthew, who is now operations manager at CairnGorm Mountain and has skied for more than 45 years, said the berries have again appeared early and were large.

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