The publication in June 2014 of the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Wild Land Areas (WLAs) 2014 map was a historic breakthrough in the John Muir Trust’s campaign to have Scotland’s wild land recognised and protected.
Wild Land Areas represent “the most extensive areas of high wildness” in Scotland. Although they are not a statutory designation, WLAs are identified as nationally important in Scottish Planning Policy and therefore play a vital role in helping to protect Scotland’s wild land.
The work by SNH in mapping and defining Wild Land Areas was a very in-depth, technical piece of research. More recently, SNH published wild land descriptions for all 42 of the Wild Land Areas. The descriptions draw out a set of wild land qualities for each of the WLAs.
In a welcome move SNH is now consulting on draft technical guidance for planners and developers:- “Assessing impacts on Wild Land Areas.” This important document is open for consultation. You can read the SNH document here
Wild land is recognised in Scottish Planning Policy as “very sensitive to any form of intrusive human activity” and with “little or no capacity to accept new development.” The Trust has campaigned hard over recent years to raise awareness of the threat to wild land from industrial-scale development.
The Trust therefore encourages you to take the opportunity to respond to the SNH consultation document.
How to respond
We've set out our assessment and the key points we will be making and hope you will find this helpful in making your own response - see John Muir Trust guidance on how to respond.
If you have any questions in relation to the Trust guidance please email John Low, Policy Officer or ask for any of the Policy team on 01796 470080. Links to SNH contact details and other documents can be found on the SNH wild land pages
Consultation closes Friday 7 April.
Thank you for taking action for wild land.