Climbers back call for new strat­egy

The Oban Times - - News -

MOUN­TAINEERS have wel­comed a re­port which could lead to the de­vel­op­ment of a strate­gic vi­sion for Scot­land’s up­lands.

The Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage (SNH) re­port, ‘ Scop­ing a strate­gic vi­sion for the up­lands’, ex­plores the po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ing an over­ar­ch­ing up­land strat­egy, which would in­volve a wide range of in­ter­est groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion, it in­cludes a num­ber of broad rec­om­men­da­tions that could in­form the de­vel­op­ment of a strate­gic vi­sion if Scot­tish min­is­ters de­cide to go ahead with it.

Moun­taineer­ing Scot­land, which has pre­vi­ously called for such a strat­egy, has en­dorsed the SNH re­port, urg­ing min­is­ters to em­brace its rec­om­men­da­tions.

David Gib­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Moun­taineer­ing Scot­land, said: ‘Scot­land’s up­lands are of in­ter­na­tional sig­nif­i­cance and a source of pub­lic good, pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment, in­come, in­spi­ra­tion and plea­sure, with re­sul­tant eco­nomic, so­cial, health, well­be­ing and other ben­e­fits.

‘This re­port demon­strates the ex­tent of sup­port from a wide range of sec­tors for the de­vel­op­ment of a co­her­ent up­land strat­egy.

‘Our main in­ter­est is in the moun­tains and wild land. Th­ese open land­scapes are un­der ever-in­creas­ing pres­sure and we be­lieve th­ese must be man­aged through the de­vel­op­ment of an agreed and over­ar­ch­ing pol­icy.

‘Clearly, that will re­quire lead­er­ship. We urge Scot­tish min­is­ters to seize the ini­tia­tive and re­spond to the re­port and its rec­om­men­da­tions by ap­point­ing an or­gan­i­sa­tion, or per­haps an in­di­vid­ual, that would be seen by all sec­tors as in­de­pen­dent and neu­tral to lead the process.’

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