Poorly constructed hilltracks can cause landscape and environmental damage. They have been a concern to environmental groups for decades, especially as no planning permission is required if they are for agricultural or forestry purposes.
Following a campaign by the LINK hilltracks group, since December 2014 all landowners must give "Prior Notification" to local authorities of their intention to construct new agricultural or forestry tracks or carry out improvements of existing tracks. They still don’t need to apply for full planning permission so tracks can’t be refused permission, but it’s hoped that the need for Prior Notification will improve construction standards. You can help the campaign to assess whether the 2014 law change has helped to improve standards - find out how below.
How you can 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
- The campaign monitors local authority planning websites to see what proposals are coming forward, commenting to the planning authorities where it has particular concerns. A team of volunteer “trackers” help to monitor local authority planning websites. You can do this even if you can't get to the hills. If you are interested in helping in this way please email the campaign to find out about what is involved.
- You can also tweet your photos to #hilltracks or #NoMotorsUpMountains
The John Muir Trust is pleased to support the LINK Hilltracks campaign. LINK campaign group members are: Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, 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 the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.