On the topic of wind farms, Donald Trump, Chairman of the Trump Organization asks:
“Does anyone honestly believe that a wind farm landscape will stimulate tourism?
“It will completely end tourism in Scotland…Scotland is committing financial suicide.”
An opposing view is offered by Maitland Mackie, Chairman of Mackie’s of Scotland and Rector of Aberdeen University, who sees wind power as being crucial to the country’s future:
“My parents used to bemoan the pylons marching across the countryside. But they got them into perspective, and we must do the same with turbines.”
Other landscape issues are covered in the magazine.
Anne Gray of Scottish Land and Estates argues in favour of hill tracks in order to support land management and recreational access to wild lands. Helen Todd of Ramblers Scotland is concerned by the irreparable damage she says the tracks do to landscapes untouched since the last Ice Age.
John Riley of Strathfillan Community Council is impressed by the sensitivity displayed by the owners of the Cononish Goldmine, whereas Bill McDermott of the Scottish Campaign for National Parks worries that short-term concerns are overriding the long-term sustainability the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park’s ecology.
The Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland, Kate Mavor commented:
“These very different points of view show how complex and difficult the arguments are about the future of the landscape we hold dear.
“How important to us is our current landscape? Is it more valuable to our economy and wellbeing in a rugged and untouched state, or do the needs to create housing, jobs and energy override all other concerns?
“As the charity that has the widest range of conservation responsibilities in Scotland, we must set a policy that aspires to the best possible outcomes for the nation. We are also the country’s largest membership organisation and are duty-bound to ensure our 312,000 members have the best possible opportunity to shape our policy direction.
“Fifty years ago the Trust commissioned the mountaineer William Murray to survey a range of Scottish landscapes in a climate of perceived threats from large scale development and electrification. His findings in Highland Landscape: A Survey helped give rise to the designation of national scenic areas.
“Now, in 2012, we must revisit those issues and cut through the fog of acrimony to come up with a policy and approach that responds appropriately to new challenges. We invite our members to engage fully in the process that gets us there.”
The full article can be viewed, and comments to the debate can be contributed at www.nts.org.uk/landscape/.
All Trust Members will receive the latest copy of Scotland in Trust over the next two weeks and are invited to e-mail their views to email@example.com
Views received will be fed back at the Trust’s AGM, to be held in Edinburgh on 22 September 2012, and will be used by the charity’s Policy Team to help determine the Trust’s stance on future development impacting on Scotland’s landscape.