A new poll released today by the John Muir Trust reveals overwhelming support for the proposal that “the 20 per cent of Scotland’s landscape identified as ‘core wild land’ – rugged, remote and free from modern visible human structures – should be given be special protection from inappropriate development including wind farms.”
On a five-point scale ranging from ‘strongly support’ to ‘strongly oppose’, 40 per cent said they would ‘strongly support’ protection for Scotland’s wild land, while a further 35 per cent ‘tend to support’ the proposal. Only 2 per cent ‘strongly oppose’ protection, while just 4 per cent ‘tend to oppose’ it. Of the remainder, 14 per cent ‘neither support nor oppose’ the proposals, with five per cent undecided.
Support for wild land to be free from wind farms and other inappropriate development is almost evenly spread across Scotland’s political parties and social classes. There is also decisive backing for wild land protection across all age groups.
With the Scottish Government’s planning policy out to public consultation, and an official map of Scotland’s core wild land on the table, Stuart Brooks, chief executive of the John Muir Trust, said that the poll provides the government with an “overwhelming mandate to introduce robust wild land protection.”
“With 75 per cent of Scots in favour of protecting wild land and only 6 per cent opposed, the government now has an overwhelming mandate to introduce robust wild land protection. We have argued all along that the Government’s targets for reducing greenhouse gases can be achieved without sacrificing our unique wild landscapes. This poll sends a resounding message to the Scottish Government that the people of Scotland want them to stand firm and deliver their promise to safeguard our wild and rugged land from industrial-style development.”
John Hutchison, chair of the John Muir Trust, said: “Regardless of gender, class, age or party political allegiance, Scotland is united in wanting to keep our wild landscapes free from large scale wind farms, giant pylons, super quarries and other inappropriate commercial developments. Scotland’s rugged mountain landscapes are part of our national heritage and identity – and the message from our people is that our wild land is not for sale.
“We are sure that MSPs from across the spectrum will take note of the fact that the breadth and the depth of support for wild land far outstrips support for any political party.”