John Muir Trust – the pre-eminent charity named after the eponymous Scots founding father of many modern today environmental groups worldwide – has 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.
All 410 responses can be downloaded from SNH website and – according to the Trust’s analysis – these responses showed that:
80% back the wild land map
14% oppose the map
6 % are neutral
For the wild land map:
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:
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
Stuart Brooks, Chief Executive, 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.”
John Hutchison, Chairman, 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.”