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Keep It Wild demo at Holyrood

Tuesday 27th February 2018, 10:16am

Mountaineering Scotland members joined representatives of the John Muir Trust, the Munro Society and cross-party MSPs outside Holyrood last week in support of the Trust’s peaceful protest calling for better protection for wild land and the mountain environment.

The gathering, at which our CEO David Gibson was present, demonstrated support for the idea that Scotland’s officially recognised Wild Land Areas should be a no-go zone for large-scale commercial wind farms.

Although windfarms are expressly forbidden in  National Scenic Areas and National Parks, the protection for Wild Land Areas is less clear cut – even though the Scottish Government’s current National Planning Framework states: “We also want to continue our strong protection for our wildest landscapes - wild land is a nationally important asset.”  

The John Muir Trust – along with Mountaineering Scotland, Ramblers Scotland and other organisations – called for Wild Land Areas to be given the same level of protection as National Scenic Areas and National Parks.

Helen McDade, Head of Policy for the John Muir Trust, said: “A YouGov opinion poll last summer found that 52 per cent “strongly agree” that Wild Land Areas “should be protected from large scale infrastructure, such as industrial wind farms, and super-quarries” – with a further 28 per cent tending to agree.

“We see the Scottish Planning Bill as an opportunity to clear up the confusion by bringing Wild Land Areas into line with National Scenic Areas and National Parks. We believe this is a clean and clear-cut solution to an ongoing problem and would benefit everyone.”

David Gibson with Mel Nicoll of JMT at the demonstration.