Campaigners against the construction of unregulated vehicle tracks in the Scottish hills have renewed their appeal for info and photos of new tracks from members of the public.
The campaign last year scored a victory when legislation was introduced requiring developers considering bulldozing new tracks for agriculture or forestry purposes to notify the relevant planning authorities. Before this law came into force land managers could construct tracks without telling anyone, and there was concern that the sheer number of these private roads was seriously impacting on the upland environment.
The Scottish Hill Tracks Campaign, being run by Scottish Environment LINK, remains active, and argues that legislation should go further still by requiring that every new track be subject to full planning consent.
'For years, badly constructed hill tracks, some of which are illegal, have been bulldozed in many of Scotland's finest upland landscapes' says George Allan on behalf of Scottish Environment LINK.
'Erosion of sensitive vegetation and visual scars across hillsides are all too common. While the change in legislation imposes greater control, LINK still believes that all tracks should require full planning consent.'
LINK intends to keep tabs on the situation so that new tracks do not go under the radar, and to ensure that any construction is done to adequate standards. This job is made much easier if hill-goers send them photos of new tracks they encounter.
'Thanks to people who have sent photos of new tracks' says George. '[T]hese help LINK with monitoring the situation on the ground. More are needed, please keep them coming.'
- For details of what they're looking for and how to send it to them, see here