The John Muir Trust has welcomed the result of a Scottish Natural Heritage public consultation on its core wild land map, describing it as a “resounding endorsement” of the proposal to step up wild land protection. According to its analysis of the 410 responses received:
14 per cent oppose the map
6 per cent are neutral
In the view of Stuart Brooks, chief executive of the John Muir Trust, “the scale of support for the map and the eloquence of the responses underline how passionately people value Scotland’s wild land.
We would now urge politicians of all parties to come together to support the map as the next step towards protecting Scotland’s world famous wild land from unsightly and ecologically damaging development. In particular we would ask the Scottish Government to include a reference to the wild land map in the draft National Planning Framework, which is now being scrutinised by parliamentary committees”
Hundreds of individuals and dozens of not-for-profit organisations, including environmental charities, councils, community groups, and national bodies such as SportScotland and Historic Scotland have thrown their weight behind the wild land map.
John Hutchison, who chairs the Trust, stressed that the map was about protecting wild land from energy corporations and landowners intent on exploiting it for profit. “As one of the main driving forces campaigning for the map,” he explained, “the John Muir Trust would emphasise that this is not about preventing small-scale development of renewables or other infrastructure by communities and local people.
“This is about stopping the mass industrialisation of our wildest landscapes under tangles of turbines, pylons, road and power sub-stations. These developments might generate lavish profits for landowners and distant shareholders, but they create few if any jobs for local people.”
All of the responses can be downloaded from this page on the Scottish Natural Heritage website.