Field Notes: Advocating for wildness
Policy officer John Low reports on the importance of meeting decision makers face to face to discuss issues affecting wild land
We were delighted to meet recently with Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith and show her around our Wild Space visitor centre in Pitlochry.
There was food for thought as we studied the intricate works by artist Tim Cottee, who has taken words from John Muir’s writings and incorporated them into stunning artworks of Scottish landscapes and wildlife in our current exhibition - 'A Different Type of Nature'. This was followed by discussion on specific current issues including the Planning (Scotland) Bill and the recent vote by MSPs on a proposed amendment which would have given stronger protection for wild land.
Meeting MSPs and their staff is an important part of our efforts to raise awareness of issues affecting wild land with politicians from across the parties. We are always keen to increase political and government understanding and support of our work and encourage a wider interest in and concern for wild places.
Meetings such as these are important to develop a shared understanding of the value of wild places. We look forward to continued dialogue with Liz Smith and other MSPs to explore the various aspects of our work in helping people to connect with and experience wild places; in protecting wild places from development that compromises their character; and our work with others to enhance, repair and rewild ecosystems and landscapes.
If you are speaking to your MSP please encourage them to get in touch to arrange a visit or meeting with us – in Pitlochry, at Holyrood, or on one of our properties this summer. Getting out onto the land we take care of is a great way for people to experience and see the value of our work first hand, whilst also getting a chance to see the challenges we face.
Find out who represents you at Holyrood and how to contact them.
Picture shows Liz Smith MSP with the Trust’s policy officer John Low and Wild Space manager Alice Carbone.