Call of the Wild: Labour MSP asks for wild land protection

The John Muir Trust today praised the initiative of Labour MSP Drew Smith, who has tabled a series of questions to the Scottish Government about the link between wild land and tourism.His questions have given a boost to the ongoing campaign of the John Muir Trust for the protection and designation of wild land.The Glasgow regional list MSP said: “Wild land in Scotland is a hugely important, but diminishing, resource.” “Whether we are talking about tiny pockets of wild land in more populous parts of the country or the remaining tracts of land in remote areas, I believe that people do place value on these spaces and that is why I have asked the Scottish Government to outline a scheme of recognition and, if necessary, designation.”“I am also pleased to be able to work with the John Muir Trust again and to recognise the work they do not just in the wilder parts of Scotland, but also through their promotion of green spaces and environmental awareness in urban places too.”“Managing tensions in land use can be tricky but if it is to be done effectively we need to have all of the information available to us and an understanding of how we expect competing views about use to be resolved.”Benefits of wild landHelen McDade, Head of Policy for the John Muir Trust said: ‘Mr Smith’s comments are timely, and we welcome his interest in Scotland’s beautiful scenery. This resource is something we as a nation should treasure, and it’s heartening to see our representatives appreciate that.’‘Wild land gives society many benefits, from clean water to reducing the risk of flooding. The international renown of our wild land also attracts tourists from across the world and helps sustain many local jobs and businesses across Scotland.’‘Policy makers should acknowledge this with a new landscape designation.’Mr Smith MSP, a Labour MSP representing the Glasgow region has previously been involved with the John Muir Award, promoting green spaces in Glasgow. The award is an environmentally centred scheme focused on wild places. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.


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