A PETITION calling for National Scenic Area (NSA) status for Loch Awe has been launched and now has more than 100 signatures.
It is now likely the proposal by Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council to identify the area as significantly important will now be put before government ministers to discuss – but signatures are still required to ensure a hearing.
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to designate Loch Awe as an NSA, campaigner Christine Metcalfe sets out the case as a ‘win-win situation for those who live and work on the lochside’.
Mrs Metcalfe said: ‘This is a non-party political petition that will give the area special significance. It will give Loch Awe an extra level of protection from development that it need and deserves.
‘At present there is zero protection for this unique example of Scottish landscape, on the longest freshwater loch in Scotland.’
A previous attempt to have the area protected as an NSA was dismissed by the Scottish Government.
The petition states: ‘It is inconceivable that a responsible government would refuse to revisit past decisions made in regard to the number of National Scenic Areas required to uphold justified needs. Especially if current legislation is failing to provide adequate protection from excessive industrial development applications.
‘An NSA would further protect from unwarranted impacts upon the Glen Etive and Glen Fyne Golden Eagle Special Protection Areas.
‘It will ensure this unique landscape retains its distinctive regional character and features that contribute to national identity and sense of place as further identified by the character of Mid Argyll and Lorn.
‘The justification is clear. Loch Awe is also unique in the intimate nature of its ambience and geography. It does not have major motorways running down either side so remains a magnet for those seeking a quieter experience of hills, loch and wildlife.’
Mrs Metcalfe asks anyone who agrees to sign the petition at www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01655.