Project information

Wild Land Protection

Never before has there been a greater need for better protection of the UK’s last remaining areas of wild land. Support the John Muir Trust's Wild Land Protection project and stand up for wild land. Help to ensure wild land is protected to halt the current rapid loss from inappropriate development.

January 2012 - January 2013

Charity information

The John Muir Trust

The John Muir Trust logo
  • Need


    Wild land is one of the UK's most important assets, for both its natural resources and by contributing to tourism, the economy and to individuals' well-being. But it is being lost at an alarming rate as a result of inappropriate developments. Less than 50% of wild land in Scotland has any legal protection in the form of landscape designation. In 2002, 41% of Scotland was visually unaffected by built development. By the end of 2009, only 28% was unaffected (from Scottish Natural Heritage).


    The John Muir Trust’s Wild Land Protection project aims to secure better statutory protection for wild land areas throughout the UK and a new statutory designation to protect wild land in Scotland. Integral to this is the aim of promoting awareness, understanding, and responsibility for, and connections with, wild places.
    The project will ensure that key decision-makers - including politicians, landowners, communities - are actively protecting wild land in the UK.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Secure greater statutory protection for wild land areas throughout the UK.


    » Meet with & inform key decision makers (landowners, politicians, communities) to improve understanding of the need for better protection of wild land.
    » Present petition to Westminster (with over 5000 signatures) calling for improved environmental protection of wild land areas in the UK.
    » Create a UK Landscape Alliance of organisations to lobby key decision-makers with a united voice on landscape issues and related threats (eg energy)

    Success will be securing large areas of wild land being protected for the long-term by new legislation and holistic policies.

    Aim 2

    Raise awareness and increase understanding of the importance of wild land throughout the UK.


    » Attend key events (political party conferences & wider networking events) & run a public wild land conference.
    » Obtain press coverage of the Wild Land Protection project and its key activities.
    » Work through a UK Landscape Alliance (environmental organisations, landowners, politicians, community groups) to strengthen the messages
    » Carry out specific research eg the impact of energy production on peat, economic & social implications of energy policy, public accountability issues

    Success will be increased recognition of the value of wild land and support for legislative change amongst the public, landowners and politicians.

  • Impact


    The project will reverse the loss and degradation of wild land throughout the UK. Success will be demonstrated through legislative change in the protection for wild land. In Scotland this will be demonstrated through an increase in the 50% of wild land with any legal protection. On wild land areas, success will be demonstrated through a decrease in inappropriate developments proposed on wild land areas.


    The risk is that politicians and landowners do not value wild land over other economic development. This is dealt with through ongoing dialogue and awareness raising activity, backed up by scientific research and evidence.


    Donors to the project will receive bi-annual reports, or as per their specific requirements. This will be done in the form of an electronic report document.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £61,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £21,000 Staff costs Co-ordination of project activities
      £12,000 Key events attendance & display space at 4 party political conferences &
      £8,500 Research Expert advice and research on key issues
      £3,500 Materials Promotional materials & equipment
      £4,000 Wild land conference 1 public wild land conference
      £4,000 Management & evaluation project management & evaluation from policy department
      £8,000 Organisational support costs administration, HR, overheads

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Patagonia £3,500 Guaranteed
    various charitable trusts £5,350 Guaranteed
    John Muir Trust reserves £25,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    UK-wide, with a focus on wild land (best wild land is restricted to large areas of high scenic wildlife value with minimal evidence of modern human development).


    WIder society - the benefit of protecting wild land for the whole of society underpins this project and the work of the John Muir Trust as a whole.
    The project will also benefit communities and visitors to wild land.
    Wild land is where we find our most spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife. It provides us with important natural resources - water, air and food. It contributes to our economy, tourism and leisure industries, and to personal health and well-being.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The John Muir Trust is the leading wild land conservation charity in the UK. Working with people and communities to conserve, campaign and inspire, we seek to ensure that wild land is protected and that wild places are valued by and for everyone. The John Muir Trust’s lead in protecting wild land is increasingly being recognised and appreciated across environmental and landscape sectors.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mel Nicoll

    Wild land Campaign Coordinator, John Muir Trust

    Helen McDade

    Head of Policy, John Muir Trust

Government protection should be thrown around every wild grove and forest on the mountains.

John Muir