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 engineer James Nasmyth was born - On this day in history

Scottish engineer James Nasmyth was born on 19 August 1808.


Beggars' badges in Scotland

Jonny Keen provides an introduction to the use of beggars' badges in Scotland, exploring their distribution ...


Arthur Elphinstone was executed - On this day in history

Arthur Elphinstone, Lord Balmerino, was executed on 18 August 1746.


The Battle of Verneuil was fought - On this day in history

The Battle of Verneuil was fought on 17 August 1424.


Other Articles

Carolina Nairne was born - On this day in history

Lady Carolina Nairne was born on 16 August 1766.


Sir Walter Scott was born - On this day in history

Scottish author, playwright and poet Sir Walter Scott was born on 15 August 1771. Find out more on our pages ...


Investigations cast doubt on the origin of the Haddo Madonna

Specialist advisors supporting National Trust for Scotland have cast doubt on claims that a painting held in ...


King Robert III was born - On this day in history

King Robert III of Scotland was born on 14 August 1337.