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Protecting Scotland's mountains

Scotland’s mountains are globally renowned for their natural beauty, shaped by geology and nature. We campaign to protect them, not just for hill walkers, mountaineers and climbers, but for all those who cherish them.

Working with partners, we takes a leading role in challenging insensitive developments in Scottish mountain landscapes – developments that can damage their unique character,  their natural habitats, the views to and from them, and our freedom to enjoy them. Experience shows that often one development leads to another, resulting in progressively more damage. We want to halt this trend.

Our vision

In 2015 we launched our vision for the future of Scottish mountains, a vision focused on safeguarding natural beauty, capitalising on leisure and tourism for sustainable economic development, and community-led small-scale developments in renewable energy.

Latest campaign news

We want the Scottish Government to enshrine protection for ‘wild land’ (as defined by their own conservation body, Scottish Natural Heritage) in planning legislation, to ensure speculative industrial-scale wind farm applications in mountain areas are stopped for good.

> Find out more about our landscape campaigning

Our responses to planning proposals 

We respond to planning authorities on specific development proposals which we feel damage Scotland’s wild land. We have strict criteria for whether we will object to a planning application. Though we respond to very few, the ones we do oppose could have a huge impact on some iconic mountain landscapes. 

> Take a look at our planning responses

Campaign priorities

Hill roads

Poorly constructed hill roads and 'tracks' are a growing concern in Scotland's mountains. Many of these are bulldozed through some of our most valued wild land with little regard for build-quality, appearance or effective drainage, causing scars that can be seen for miles around.

> Find out more and how you can help

Mountain wind farms

We have published a report into the  impact mountain wind farms have on the behaviour of mountaineers and hill walkers as part of the evidence base we use when opposing the small number of wind farm planning applications that we believe would cause irreparable damage to Scottish mountain landscapes if allowed to go ahead.

> Check out our research

Mountain memorials

We believe mountains should be protected from man-made intrusion and remain in as wild and natural a state as possible. For this reason, while we sympathise with the grief and loss that bereaved friends and relatives feel, we believe that permanent memorial artefacts should not be a feature of the mountain landscape. 

> Our views and alternative options

Mountaineering Scotland supports the introduction of new national parks where precedence is given to the Sandford Principle in which the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage of an area is given precedence over economic and social development

We thank the BMC for their financial contribution to our landscape work.