Scottish Wild Land Group
The Scottish Wild Land Group (SWLG) is a wild land charity which is run wholly by volunteers. SWLG was established in 1982 to protect and conserve wild land in Scotland, and has campaigned on a wide range of issues.
We regularly produce our magazine, Wild Land News, which is free to members. Please join us today and help to give Scotland's wild places a voice.
You can follow the Group on Facebook and Twitter to receive regular updates, or go to our Articles and Consultations page to see recent articles from Wild Land News and SWLG responses to consultations on issues affecting Scotland's wild land. Copies of our accounts are available here.
Fight for Scotland’s Nature Campaign
Scottish Environment LINK the forum for Scotland's voluntary environment community, with 41 member bodies including the SWLG, with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society, has launched an e-action campaign for nature recovery targets.
For details of the campaign and how to participate visit https://www.fightforscotlandsnature.scot/
Project to assess the state of wild land in Scotland
The Scottish Wild Land Group is looking for contractors to tender for a 6-month project to assess the state of wild land in Scotland. Deadline for tenders is 13 June and the project brief can be downloaded here. The recent article in Wild Land News referenced can be downloaded here.
Manifesto for the Outdoors.
SORA, the Scottish Outdoor Recreation Alliance, an organisation supported by the SWLG, have produced a manifesto containing innovative ideas for supporting the booming demand for the outdoors. The manifesto can be viewed as a pdf here and a press release has been published on the Ramblers website.
ATV User Guide
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) with members of the Cairngorms Upland Advisory Group have pulled together a user guide with a short checklist covering the use of ATVs such as quad bikes, Argocats and other four wheel drive vehicles on the open hill. It is not intended to cover forest or farm work. The user guide can be viewed as a pdf here.
Wild Land News 98 (Winter 2020/21)
This Newsletter is now completed and is now available. The newsletter contains an excellent article by Dave Jarman on hydro-schemes. Associated with this is his Rogues’ Gallery of poor quality schemes which can be viewed here. Readers may also be interested in the website here researching the proposed hydro schemes in Glen Etive. The complete newsletter can be downloaded as a pdf here.
Objection to a Campsite proposed in an inappropriate location
On December 1st SWLG objected to a campsite planned for a coastal location of fine seascape quality and wildness character. Details of the application and our letter can be viewed here. All our letters can be viewed in the 'Our Work' section of the website.
LINK Environmental Law Petition
A petition asking for strong environmental laws in Scotland after Brexit has been setup - please consider signing and supporting by forwarding to your acquaintances.
The petition can be found and signed here https://www.fightforscotlandsnature.scot/petition
SWLG supports LINK's efforts to improve biodiversity
We encourage all our members to sign the LINK Fight for Nature Campaign petition in an effort to persuade our politicians and decision makers to take the decline in biodiversity more seriously and to take action that may make positive changes in the future. For more information with the option to sign the petition see here. Please do this now - it only takes a minute!
Hill Tracks Project
We continue to be active in monitoring planning authorities for new hilltrack applications and are looking for more people to assist us. The work required is about 10 or 15 minutes per week and is outlined in the Our Work section of the website here. Your work would be invaluable to our campaign. If you think you could help us in this small but vital way please contact us via mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
SECRECY AROUND THE FUTURE OF THE CAIRNGORM FUNICULAR
It appears that it is the intention of Highlands and Islands Enterprise [HIE] to have the funicular railway repaired despite the controversy around this decision. They have not presented a business case, or made it available to parliament for scrutiny, which examines the alternatives, from removal of the facility and re-instatement, or replacement or repair. Repair will cost a vast amount of public money, [as will other options], and all alternatives need to be publicly scrutinised to ensure that the best option is chosen and one that gives best value to the public, the local community and businesses. It seems that the Minister, Fergus Ewing, will make a decision accepting repair BEFORE the business case has even been published and examined and without MSPs being given a chance to consider the best way forward. The case for using the money to support other enterprises in the Spey valley has not even been looked at. Members will recall that HIE has already failed twice to achieve a sustainable future for the management of the facilities at Cairngorm, wasting much public money in the process. SWLG has been involved with other organisations in trying to raise this issue more widely, see the article in Ferret, the parliamentary magazine here, and a press release from the group of outdoor organisations here. We are asking our members to write to their MSPs to encourage them to push to have this matter raised in the Holyrood Parliament to be discussed openly in order to uphold our democracy.
20th Celebration of the National Parks (Scotland) Act
Glen Lethnot hill road Applications
We have responded to three more hill road applications in Glen Lethnot. The responses, which contain many common elements, can be viewed on our website page here.
Update 18/8/2020.Two of the applications (20/00241/PRIORN and 20/00242/PRIORN) have now been withdrawn.
Scottish Environment LINK’s film ‘This is Scotland’ is a finalist in this year’s Charity Film Awards.
Due to the pandemic there won’t be a physical event, but there will be a virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday 21 April at 7pm.
It's good news. The Film has won the first prize in its category.
You can watch the film here: https://charityfilmawards.com/videos/this-is-scotland.
Corona Virus Update.
Our members, and no doubt most other readers of this site, will be outdoor lovers. We ask you all to follow the lockdown requirements regarding physical isolation to protect NHS resources and the vulnerable in our communities and wish you all well.
The next issue of our magazine, Wild Land News 97 (Summer 2020) has been delayed but we are working hard on it and other ‘wild land’ issues such as intrusive and unnecessary hilltracks, see our latest objections below, and are continuing to monitor for further developments. We were pleased to see that after an unsuccessful voluntary restriction on muirburn, that the Scottish Government has banned the practice for the time being.
Hill Tracks - and Other Important Updates.
The Cairngorms National Park has taken out an enforcement Order on a Glen Clova track.
The landowner has been ordered to remove and restore the upper section of the unauthorised unsightly vehicular track. Full details can be found on the Ramblers Scotland website here.
Following this the SWLG has objected formally to the retrospective planning application for the upgrade of this track. The objection can be viewed here.
In addition formal objections have been made to for planning applications for formalising the hilltrack at Pitmain Kingussie and the Space Port facility near Tongue.
The Hilltracks Campaign is delighted to learn that hill tracks have been given priority in the forthcoming review of Permitted Development Rights.
Early elements of the program will include any changes in relation to hill tracks (private ways). See here for more details.
Read previous SWLG news articles here.