Poorly constructed hilltracks which cause landscape and environmental damage have been a concern to environmental groups for decades. The Scottish Environment LINK Hilltracks campaign - a coalition of nine leading Scottish environmental organisations, which is also supported by the John Muir Trust and Mountaineering Scotland - has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of the issue and the need for tighter controls.
A new report for the Campaign, published in September 2018, has found that in spite of changes to the legislation in 2014 the law is still failing to control damaging vehicle tracks in Scotland's finest landscapes. The report calls for stronger oversight of "out of of control" tracks.
There is currently an important opportunity to raise this issue in the Scottish Parliament and change the law as a new Planning Bill is being discussed by MSPs. Andy Wightman MSP recently tabled an amendment (#165) which would finally bring such tracks fully into the planning system. Sadly, this was voted down in October, but efforts are continuing while the Planning Bill is still before Parliament.
Other ways to help
- Take photos! If you come across a track of concern please take photos. More information on what to look out for and how to send in your photos here
- You can also tweet your photos to #hilltracks or #NoMotorsUpMountains
The John Muir Trust is pleased to support the LINK Hilltracks campaign.
LINK Hilltracks campaign group members are: Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, Badenoch & Strathspey Conservation Group, Cairngorms Campaign, National Trust for Scotland, North East Mountain Trust, Ramblers Scotland, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Campaign for National Parks, Scottish Wild Land Group. Also supported by Mountaineering Scotland.