Protecting wild land

A quick round-up of recent work on behalf of wild land

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Visitor management

From late September to mid-October, Cecilie Dohm, our Junior Policy Officer, travelled to the Western Isles, Skye, Quinag and Sandwood to interview local community representatives for a research project on visitor management. With the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown over summer, Scotland’s wild places were more popular than ever, and we wanted to hear what local people living on and near to Trust properties had to say about the impacts on their communities and environment to better understand what the Trust can do to help – both on the ground and in lobbying politicians for practical actions and solutions. Cecilie is now analysing content from 39 interviews, some of which were held virtually on return, and we plan to publish our findings in a report in early 2021.

Looking after Scotland’s rainforest

As a member of the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, we are raising the profile of Scotland’s rainforest (also known as Atlantic woodland or Celtic rainforest) – a globally rare and internationally important native woodland habitat on Scotland’s west coast. In November 2020, supported a Public Petition to ‘Protect Scotland’s remaining ancient, native and semi-native woodlands and woodland floors.’ New legislation that strengthens the level of protection for these woodlands would be a timely, meaningful response to the biodiversity and climate crisis.

Scottish elections 2021

The Trust is holding meetings with policy advisors and political parties ahead of the Holyrood elections in May 2021 to raise the importance of managing land in the public interest, for nature’s recovery and for capturing and storing carbon. As a starting point for discussions, we’ve developed a series of ambitious but practical measures that have the potential to transform Scotland’s natural environment for its local people and visitors; to accelerate towards net zero carbon; and to breathe new life and opportunity into our most fragile communities.

Photo shows Holyrood roofline under a February sky