Friday 20 December 2013

Scottish Wild Land Map Consultation: My Response

Ben Nevis
Today, December 20th, is the last day for the consultation on the Scottish wild land map produced by Scottish Natural Heritage. Below is my response. My hope is that this map will form the basis for wild land protection. It's not enough on its own but it would be a great start.

"The Core Areas of Wild Land map is invaluable for providing a picture of the wild land left in Scotland and its location. Congratulations on producing this map and for consulting on it. The map should now be used to assist government and other bodies in protecting wild land. Any developments that would impinge on the wild character should now be excluded from the wild land areas on the map.

Wild land is essential for all of us for a wide variety of reasons including freedom from the constraints of urban living; protecting wildlife; conserving the landscape; providing opportunities for activities like mountaineering and hillwalking; and simply escaping to quiet and beautiful places for peace of mind and the restoration of the spirit.

Wild land in Scotland has been whittled away over the years by many different developments such as bulldozed roads and wind farms. This has speeded up in recent years, making it vital that clear protection is given to what remains.  This should be unequivocal and make it impossible for the boundaries to be challenged by repeated development applications.

It's also important that there are buffer zones round core wild land where developments are limited and those that would affect the quality of the wild land prohibited. Wild land does not suddenly stop at arbitrary boundaries as drawn on a map. Instead it gradually fades away, slowly becoming less wild.

All the areas of wild land identified are significant and all should be protected immediately.  Otherwise the next time the map is looked at there will be less wild land. There is no time to debate just where the boundaries should be.

There are other areas that could be included on the map, in particular on the coasts and in the Southern Uplands.  Also, areas that are wild now but on which consent has been given for developments should be included as the developments may not go ahead. The map should cover wild land as it is at present."

1 comment:

  1. Great response to this rare and valuable opportunity to have say on how we want Scotland to appear, both now and for the future. Your comment on `buffer zones` is excelent` and makes good sense. The scope for adding to the map, as you have suggested has much appeal. And I do like your sense of urgency in now having it implemented in full. Lets get it done!