JMT Petitions Westminster For Wild Land Protection

A petition to protect what remains of the UK's disappearing wild land, initiated by conservation charity the John Muir Trust (JMT), was presented to Parliament on Wednesday 12 December by Glyn Davies MP.

Early morning in the Howgills - an area mooted for inclusion in an expanded Yorkshire Dales National Park, 120 kb
Early morning in the Howgills - an area mooted for inclusion in an expanded Yorkshire Dales National Park
© Dan Bailey

Signed by only just over 6000 people, the petition isn't a particularly big one - but its aims are ambitious. It calls on the Westminster Government to improve protection for the best remaining areas of wild land in England by extending National Park boundaries, or creating new National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

'Our wild land is disappearing under the juggernaut of commercial development'

Glyn Davies, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, stressed that he would be seeking cross-party support for the petition.

'This is an issue that crosses political boundaries, and I would expect traditional rivalries to be set aside as members of all political parties rally behind this defence of our wild land.'

'This campaign is close to my own heart. In my constituency of Montgomeryshire there is currently a proposal by the National Grid to desecrate our wondrous landscapes with pylons to connect the several hundred proposed wind turbines to the grid. We really must attach value to visual amenity and take care of the legacy we leave our children.'

John Muir Trust Chief Executive Stuart Brooks said:

'This petition shows the breadth of support we have for wild land protection. Across the UK, people love and value wild places and they want to see wild land protected. As our lives become more hectic and urbanised and our island becomes more crowded, our wild places take on an increasingly important role.'

'Our wild land is disappearing under the juggernaut of commercial development, from electricity pylons, roads, new housing estates and shopping centres. One of the most immediate threats is from the construction of large-scale wind power developments with their associated infrastructure.'

'With submission of our petition, we are urging Parliament to take action to protect the wild land we have left before it's too late.'

'It is a vanishing but precious resource in an increasingly industrialised world. You cannot create wild land but you can protect it for this and future generations.'

John Hutchison, Chairman of the John Muir Trust, added:

'We recognise that wild and scenic land designations in Britain are under the control of separate legislatures. We have already submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament and we will in the future be asking the Welsh Assembly to extend protection for wild land in Wales.'

'Polling evidence shows wild land protection has widespread support across social classes, and across the nations and regions of the UK.

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