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

Scottish conductor and composer James Muir Mathieson was born - On this day in history

Conductor and composer James Muir Mathieson was born on 24 January 1911.


James Stewart Earl of Moray was assassinated - On this day in history

James Stewart, Earl of Moray, regent for James VI, was assassinated by a firearm on 23 January 1570. ...


Margaret of Denmark: an enigmatic queen - exclusive free read from History Scotland

Dr Amy Hayes explores the life of Margaret of Denmark, wife of James III, mother of James IV and possibly the ...


Scottish MP Joseph Hume was born - On this day in history

Scottish MP Joseph Hume, who founded the memorial to the Scottish Political Martyrs in Edinburgh, was born on ...


Other Articles

Scottish theologian George Gillespie was born - On this day in history

Church leader George Gillespie was born on 21 January 1613 in Kirkcaldy.


Inventor and engineer James Watt was born - On this day in history

James Watt, inventor of the condensor, which helped make the Industrial Revolution possible, was born on 19 ...


Sir John Pringle died - On this day in Scottish history

Sir John Pringle, President of the Royal Society and physician to King George III, died on 18 January 1782. ...


The Duddingston Curling Society was founded - On this day in history

On 17 January 1795, the Duddingston Curling Society became the first formally organised curling club in the ...