Highlands & Islands

Call to add safeguards for mountains to manifestos

Buachaille Etive Mor Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said landscapes were important to conservation and tourism

Political parties have been asked to commit to safeguard Scotland's upland landscapes.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has written to more than 250 prospective parliamentary candidates ahead of May's Scottish elections.

It wants to see greater enforcement of legal powers to protect hills and mountainous areas from development.

The MCofS has also called for guaranteed protection for areas designated as wild land.

The council represents the interests of climbers and hillwalkers.

'Take seriously'

It has campaigned against the proposed construction of large-scale wind farms in parts of the Highlands.

Mike Watson, president of the MCofS, said: "Our world-renowned mountains are cherished by hillwalkers, mountaineers and climbers from all parts of Scotland and beyond, so their future should be a concern for every MSP, regardless of where their constituency lies."

"Scotland's mountain landscapes are essential to our communities in so many ways: recreation, tourism, employment, cultural identity, wildlife and biodiversity, peat conservation and carbon storage, energy production, water quality and flood mitigation to name but a few."

He added: "Striking a balance between these is a challenge and an opportunity that we need the Scottish government and parliament to take seriously."

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