Saving what's left of our wild land

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Nov 29, 2003
If you want wilderness you may have to go to Scandinavia, but at least here in the UK we do have 'wild land' where the imprint of man is light, perceived wildness is high, and the area is remote. Most of these places are in Scotland. They are shrinking fast. The proportion of the country without visible development has fallen hugely in the past few years.

Scottish National Heritage has been mapping 'core areas' of wild land to inform future development decisions. The wind farm industry have been challenging this, and now SNH have been obliged to consult on the matter.

I am not opposed to wind farms in themselves, and in a curious reverse NIMBYism I am fairly content with the ones I can see from my back garden, as they were not built on core wild land. But I do not want to see the wildest, most beautiful and remote places covered with them.

I'm not unusual in this. 75% of Scots in a recent survey wanted greater protection for wild land.

I would ask that anyone who loves our wild places has a look at the John Muir Trust website and responds to the SNH consultation. You do not have to live in Scotland - in fact responses from south of the Tweed may carry more weight in a country so dependent on tourism.

Bushcraft is sometimes referred to as 'wilderness skills'. Keeping the skills alive is important,but we need to keep our wild country too.