Mapping Scotland’s wildness – Scottish Natural Heritage

Updated information on mapping core wild land areas.

On 30th April 2013 the Scottish Government published its Main Issues Report on the National Planning Framework 3 and revised Scottish Planning Policy.  Question 2 of the NPF MIR is inviting views on the use of the our mapping work to identify areas which need to be protected.  In addition SPP question 17 is seeking views on the proposed approach to spatial frameworks, including the principle of affording significant protection to core wild land (as included in our map) from wind farm development unless any adverse effects can be substantially mitigated.  So that Scottish Government can best reflect on the merits of the policy approach and consider the next steps, they are also happy to receive comments on the map itself who will forward any such comments to ourselves for our information.  Full details of the consultation and how to submit your comments can be found on the Scottish Government’s website  .

The new map of areas of wild land character can be viewed here: Mapping Scotland’s wildness – Scottish Natural Heritage.

Preparing a new map of wild land

Scottish Natural Heritage identified ‘Search Areas for Wild Land’ in 2002. These were considered to be where the most significant and valued areas of wild land would be found.  But the map was a preliminary one, not including small areas or precisely defining boundaries, prepared for debate and further refinement. Our recent work has applied GIS techniques in a more objective and robust approach.

The new map of wild land is the result of analysis undertaken in three phases:

Phase I mapped the relative wildness for all of Scotland, using four physical attributes: perceived naturalness, rugged or challenging terrain, remoteness from public roads, and visible lack of built development and other modern artefacts.

Phase II analysed the data to identify the largest and most wild areas (producing a long list of possible areas of wild land).

Phase III used informed judgement to select areas of wild land character, and draw provisional boundaries.

via Mapping Scotland’s wildness – Scottish Natural Heritage.


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