07/11/2018
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Scots indicate 'overwhelming support' for greater measures to protect Scotland's scenic landscapes

fba4fc63-6c81-43e5-a622-551de6031809

A survey commissioned by the National Trust for Scotland has revealed overwhelming support for greater measures to protect Scotland’s most scenic landscapes.

The online survey of a sample of 1,229 people representative of Scotland’s population by age and gender was commissioned by the Trust from Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research to mark four decades of National Scenic Areas.

National Scenic Areas (NSAs) were first identified by the then Countryside Commission for Scotland in 1978. This followed publication of Highland Landscape by WH Murray commissioned by the National Trust for Scotland in 1962 which was the first national assessment of Scotland’s most scenic areas. It came from a strong desire to protect the beauty of Scotland’s landscape and enable ‘economic’ and ‘amenity’ factors to be weighed evenly on the scales.  

Among the findings of the survey are:

  • 95% strongly/tend to agree that scenic areas are vital for tourism
  • 91% strongly/tend to agree that scenic landscapes make them proud to live in Scotland
  • 92% strongly/tend to agree that there should be restrictions on large-scale industrial development in Scotland’s most important landscapes
  • 84% strongly/tend to agree that the planning system should include more measures to protect National Scenic Areas

The value of Scotland's National Scenic Areas

Location, social background, age and gender made virtually no difference to the opinions expressed through the survey.

It was also clear that respondents were unaware of or confused by the many different designations intended to protect landscapes in Scotland: for example, 88% were ‘definitely aware’ of National Parks whereas the percentage for National Scenic Areas was only 20% and 23% for Wild Land Areas.

When asked whether “most new development in the countryside is having a positive impact on Scotland’s scenic landscapes,” less than a quarter (23%) of respondents agreed, with 29% neutral, and 33% disagreeing. This suggests there is opportunity – and a need – for better planning and design to ensure the sustainable development of our landscapes.

The National Trust for Scotland’s Head of Conservation and Policy, Stuart Brooks said: “While the social and economic situation and types of pressure have changed since 1978, it’s abundantly clear that one thing has been constant: the people of Scotland’s determination to see the landscapes they love properly protected.

      QUICK LINK: Driving tour of Arran

“It’s been 40 years since National Scenic Areas were established, and up to this point they have been largely effective.  Their amenity value has grown enormously within that time to the point where they are key economic drivers for Scotland. This is bringing wealth and opportunity to rural communities – whether as places to live or drawing visitors from around the world. 

“Technological advances to produce and distribute clean energy to help combat climate change is necessary but presents new challenges to protecting our landscapes and this is a concern for people as demonstrated through this poll.

“There’s an immediate opportunity through the Planning Bill currently before Parliament to ensure our National Scenic Areas and Wild Land Areas are future proofed to ensure they continue to protect the beauty of our landscape and support our economy and communities. 

“Let’s also look beyond the highlands and begin a discussion about the value of landscapes everywhere and the role their stewardship can play in the health and prosperity of our nation.” 

QUICK LINK: History Scotland's ultimate castles guide

(images copyright NTS Media Pics)

Back to "News" Category

07/11/2018 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

King Charles II was crowned at Westminster Abbey - On this day in history

King Charles II was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London on 23 April 1661.


Ancient marine reptile fossil findings influenced sea serpent sightings, new research reveals

Sea monster sightings in the 19th century were influenced by the discovery of ancient reptile fossils, new ...


Politician Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman died - On this day in history

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the first politician to be officially called Prime Minister, died on 22 April ...


Naturalist John Muir was born - On this day in history

John Muir, the Scottish-born naturalist known as the 'Father of the National Parks' was born on 21 April ...


Other Articles

Scottish golf prodigy Young Tom Morris was born - On this day in history

Golf prodigy Young Tom Morris was born on 20 April 1851 in St Andrews.


Lord Byron died in Greece - On this day in history

Romantic poet Lord Byron died in Missolonghi on 19 April 1824, whilst taking part in the fight for Greek ...


Battle of Britain pilot Harbourne Stephen was born - On this day in history

Battle of Britain pilot Harbourne Mackay Stephen was born in Elgin on 18 April 1916.


Queen Victoria's Scotland: interview with Dr Lucy Worsley

Nowadays we’re used to the idea of the royal family holidaying in Scotland, but in the mid 19th century, ...