Public support for wild land

Published: 23rd June 2015

Find out about the strong public support for better protection for wild land.

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YouGov poll finds 80 per cent want to keep Wild Land Areas free of major development

In June 2017 this poll found that an absolute majority – 52 per cent – ‘strongly agree’ that “Wild Land Areas should continue to be protected from large-scale infrastructure such as industrial-scale wind farms, major electricity transmission and super-quarries”, while a further 28 per cent ‘tend to agree’.

Read our press release

Read more here

Survation poll

In May 2014 we commissioned a Survation opinion poll to gauge the level of support in the Highlands and Islands for Scottish Government proposals for strengthened protection for wild land. The poll, of over 500 people in eight constituencies across the Highland and Islands, asked people their attitude to the proposal that:-

"The Scottish Parliament is currently discussing a proposal that Scotland’s wild land – land that is rugged and remote with a lack of visible built structures – should be given special protection from development such as large scale wind farms. To what extent do you support or oppose these proposals?” The full results are attached below. Read our press release from May 2014

Scottish Natural Heritage public consultation

In February 2014 government agency Scottish Natural Heritage carried out a public consultation as part of the development of the Wild Land Areas map. This showed that 4 to 1 supported stronger wild land protection. Read our press release

You can also see in the downloads below the detailed "Public Perception Survey of Wildness in Scotland." This was a report for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, Cairngorms National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage (July 2012). It comprised the results of a survey to further develop understanding of the public perception of wildness in Scotland and to support future wildness mapping by providing a set of weights which can be used to combine the various attributes associated with the Scottish public’s perception of ‘wildness’.

Other polls

We carried out surveys with YouGov in June 2013 and November 2012. The former found that 51% of Scots would be reluctant to visit scenic areas with turbines, pylons and quarries. The November poll showed that the public favour the protection of scenic wild land over the building of commercial wind farms. 

June 2013 press release

November 2012 press release

Full results available via the downloads below.

John Muir Trust petition handover 25 January 2011