March 23, 2015

Parties challenged to state wild land views

By Jane Candlish | The Press and Journal | 23 March 2015 |

Political parties have been challenged to state their position on protection of Scotland’s mountains and wild land in the run-up to May’s general election.

It is feared that increasing numbers of windfarm developments are threatening the landscape.

Thousands of people have already signed a petition calling for protection for nationally important assets to be strengthened.

Now the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS) is asking party leaders to state their position and help people to decide which way to vote.

A month ago the MCoS, which represents mountaineers, climbers and hill walkers, published and sent to MPs for Scottish seats and MSPs its vision for the future of mountains and wild land, called “Respecting Scotland’s Mountains”.

The organisation also launched a petition to the Scottish Government urging it “to ensure that Scotland’s precious remaining areas of wild land, as identified by Scottish Natural Heritage’s wild land map, are fully protected from large scale development”.

David Gibson, MCoS chief officer, said: “‘Respecting Scotland’s Mountains’ emphasises the importance of stronger protection for our mountains and wild land in environmental and economic terms, and for the benefit of public health.

“There is a real need for people to know how the parties view the protection of these rapidly diminishing, nationally important assets and how they propose to provide stronger future protection.

“We are asking for a statement of intent – one which we can share with our members and the public prior to the general election, so that they can make an informed decision when they vote.”

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