I just sent the following to my local MSP Chris Harvie, Alex Salmond and Jim Mather.
Dear Chris Harvie MSP
I am writing to you because I believe passionately that wild land in Scotland needs better protection. That is why I am supporting the John Muir Trust’s Wild Land Campaign (www.jmt.org/wild-land-campaign.asp) and writing to you to register my support for those members of the Scottish electorate who care about the future of wild land in Scotland.
Wild land (large, remote areas with spectacular scenery and high wildlife value) sustains numerous forms of life and key biodiversity species. Wild land also provides for essential climate change mitigation and adaptation – for example, retention of carbon in peat, high quality water supplies and natural flood defences.
Thousands of people such as myself spend time in wild land every year, recharging our batteries and nourishing our minds as well as our bodies. Wild land is important to the livelihoods of rural communities, attracting visitors to its beauty and challenges and supporting tourism and traditional ways of life.
I’m traditionally an SNP voter and reside in Dunfermline, however I will be considering my vote very carefully before election day, due to my concerns that the SNP is not doing enough to safeguard our uplands and wild areas. The SNP are quick to bang the tourism drum on one hand, citing Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, but have failed to protect it by mandating the undergrounding of the Beauly-Denny powerline. The SNPs short sighted eagerness to sacrifice said natural beauty for a quick buck with the systematic destruction of wild land due to rampant and unabated windfarm development. The Ochils, my local range, have been ruined by three such eyesores, two on the eastern and western flanks and one centrally above Tillicoultry. Soon the Monadhliath mountains in Strathspey will be similarly disfigured, a wild landscape lost to industrialisation by greedy absentee landowners and private companies.
Recent Scottish Natural Heritage research shows that the extent of Scotland unaffected by any form of visual influence fell from 31% to 28% between January 2008 and December 2009. Any further loss is likely to have profound impacts for Scotland’s economy as well as ecosystems. Wild land makes a vital contribution to Scotland socially, economically, culturally and environmentally and I am therefore deeply concerned at the speed at which it is disappearing.
I believe we must take action now to protect Scotland’s remaining wild land. I therefore urge you to pay heed to the calls of the Scottish people who care about wild land and to do all you can to safeguard Scotland’s wild land.
Thank you for taking note of my concerns