Campaigner petitions Scottish Parliament about National Scenic Areas
A Loch Awe community council is calling on the Scottish Parliament to review the NSAs designation process
Christine Metcalfe, on behalf of Avich & Kilchrennan Community Council in the Loch Awe area of Argyll & Bute is petitioning the Scottish Parliament, asking for the Scottish Government to review the process for designation of National Scenic Areas (NSAs) and to consider increasing the number of NSAs in Scotland to protect the natural landscape and support the tourism sector.
Currently, there are 40 NSAs across Scotland. As recently as 2015 the Scottish Government indicated that it had no plans to designate any further NSAs but this latest petition argues that it is becoming clear that due to pressures from various quarters, including those of the renewable energy industry, some areas deserving of the title of National Scenic Area have not yet been recognised as being in urgent need of this. The petition cites the specific case of Loch Awe in Argyll which it argues has a distinct and unique regional character, and provides an increasingly rare, quieter experience in an unspoilt landscape. It is extremely narrow, and is therefore vulnerable to significant detrimental impacts from any large renewable energy or infrastructure projects unavoidably visible to both sides of the loch.
These potential impacts on the tranquility and beauty of the area will have a subsequent impact on the locally dependent tourism sector and upon the natural wildlife in the Loch Awe area (which includes the Glen Etive and Glen Fyne Golden Eagle Special Protection Area).
Although Loch Awe has been used by way of a specific example, the petition argues that the impacts of large infrastructure projects might also affect many other areas of Scotland that have their own distinct and unique regional character.
The John Muir Trust supports this petition to ensure the protection of Scotland's important landscapes from industrial-scale development. Members of the public can sign the petition and give comments before it closes on 7 June, prior to further consideration by the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee.
Sign the petition here - closes 7 June!