Overwhelming public support for wild land map

Response to SNH consultation reveals 4 to 1 in favour.

The John Muir Trust today hailed the result of a Scottish Natural Heritage public consultation on its core wild land map as a resounding endorsement of the proposal to step up wild land protection.

According to the Trust’s analysis of the 410 responses received:

• 80 per cent back the wild land map
• 14 per cent oppose the map
• 6 per cent are neutral

All 410 responses can be downloaded from the SNH website.

Stuart Brooks, chief executive of the John Muir Trust said: “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, chair of the John Muir Trust, emphasised that the map is 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, 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.”

Background notes

RESPONSES

Total – 410
For 329 (80 per cent)
Against 59 (14 per cent)
Neutral 22 (5 per cent)

All the figures have been rounded down to nearest percent; hence the figures add up to 99 per cent.

BREAKDOWN

For the wild land map:-

• 264 individuals,
• 55 not-for-profit organisations, (including over 20 environmental and outdoors charities; five national government agencies – including SportsScotland, Historic Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland; six local authorities; and an assortment of community councils, campaign groups, park authorities and academic institutions)
• 10 businesses (mainly small businesses in the environment and tourist sector; plus the Speyside Business Alliance, a consortium mainly of distillers; and four estates)

Against the wild land map:-

• 9 individuals
• 40 businesses (27 energy corporations, plus 11 property developers, landowners and representative bodies such as Scottish Land and Estates and the Scottish Property Federation)
• 10 not-for-profit organisations