Borders MSPs are 
lobbied by climbers

MOUNTAINEERS are urging politicians to lift their eyes to the hills when it comes to making decisions on green issues such as turbines.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has sent MSPs a leaflet reminding them of the benefits of Scotland’s hills and urging them to safeguard “a hugely valuable but finite and vulnerable resource”.

MSofS’s landscape and access director Dave Gordon said: “To some the term ‘wild land’ just translates as emptiness – something without any value. Scotland’s mountains are very far from being without value: they are among our greatest assets. But our uplands are also incredibly vulnerable.

“Our mountains and wild land are internationally recognised and a major factor in attracting tourism and supporting rural employment, as well as being a home for wildlife.

“However, Scotland is a small country and the area of the land unaffected by the visual impact of built development has already shrunk by a third in less than a decade.

“The unceasing pressure from wind farm developers on our mountains threatens to squander a large part of this precious asset.”

And they urge MSPs to “maintain a very strong presumption against development adjacent to protected landscapes” and to attach more weight to local decision-making in planning.

MCofS represents 12,000 Scottish mountaineers and hill walkers.

The Borders is one of Scotland’s regions most densely populated with turbines.