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CNPA Convener warns against ‘wild land’ elitism

13th September 2004

The Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority says that a consensus approach is called for when it comes to managing and enjoying ‘wild land’.

Speaking at the ‘Wild at Heart’ conference, Andrew Thin said that although our wild open spaces are a great place to escape to and enjoy, people should remember that wild land is also a place of work for many and that this should be respected.

The Cairngorms has long been regarded as one of the finest wild land areas in the UK and for many it is the ultimate place to escape from the overcrowded urban dominated existence and pressures of everyday life. However, one person’s escape from work is another person’s place of work.

Most wild land in Scotland and especially within the Cairngorms National Park is privately owned and the Land Reform debate over the last few years has highlighted the role of private land ownership and the best way in which an appropriate balance can be achieved between legitimate private and public interests in land.

He added: “There is a growing recognition that the land ‘belongs’ to all of us but certain rights in that land can be held privately. It is vital that this debate moves forward and that a small number of wild land enthusiasts do not seek to relpace one kind of elitest approach to land management with another.”

“Wild place are there for all of us and no one group has any kind of God given right to dictate how they should best be managed and cared for.”