Mapping Scotland's wildness and wild land
Consultation on Core Areas of Wild Land 2013 Map
The Scottish Government recently consulted on the Main Issues Report for the National Planning Framework 3 and draft Scottish Planning Policy. These proposed a policy approach that refers to Scottish Natural Heritage's Core Areas of Wild Land 2013 map. In light of comments received, we have been asked to provide further advice to Ministers on this map.
Scottish Natural Heritage is seeking views on three questions set out in this consultation paper . Please reply using this proforma . The map of Core areas of wild land 2013 can be viewed below (the GIS data can be downloaded from the SNHi Natural Spaces web page).
The consultation is open until 20th December 2013. Responses should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or Wild Land Consultation, Scottish Natural Heritage, Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness IV3 8NW.
The following provides further information on our mapping work.
Preparing a new map of wild land
Scottish Natural Heritage identified 'Search Areas for Wild Land' in 2002. These were considered to be where the most significant and valued areas of wild land would be found. But the map was a preliminary and incomplete one, prepared for debate and further refinement. Our recent work has applied GIS techniques in a more objective and robust approach.
The new map of Core areas of wild land is the result of analysis undertaken in three phases:
- Phase I mapped the relative wildness for all of Scotland, using four physical attributes: perceived naturalness, rugged or challenging terrain, remoteness from public roads, and visible lack of built development and other modern artefacts.
- Phase II analysed the data to identify the largest and most wild areas (producing a long list of possible areas of wild land).
- Phase III used informed judgement to select wild land, and define their extent.
This methodology gives a more detailed explanation of the analysis undertaken.
Phase I - How have we mapped wildness?
Wildness is a quality experienced by people when visiting places of a certain character. Measuring wildness is inherently difficult, as people respond differently according to their personal experience and their expectations of a place. However, we consider wildness depends on four physical attributes being present, which can be measured and mapped.
- The perceived naturalness of the land cover (January 2013) - high resolution map 10.5 Mb , low resolution map 2Mb
- The ruggedness of the terrain which is therefore challenging to cross (February 2012) - high resolution map 5.4Mb , low resolution map 1.5Mb
- Remoteness from public roads or ferries (February 2012) - high resolution map 7Mb , low resolution map 1.5Mb
- The visible lack of buildings, roads, pylons and other modern artefacts (February 2012) - high resolution map 11Mb , low resolution map 2Mb
Phase II and III - How have we identified Core areas of wild land
Phase II analysed the scores of relative wildness identified in Phase I, to determine distinct classes of wildness using a statistical technique called 'natural breaks'. The largest areas with the classes of the highest scores were identified.
Phase III applied informed judgement to confirm which of the areas identified by Phase II merited selection as an area of wild land character. This took account of the known limitations with the GIS analysis, such as structures consented or built since the analysis was undertaken. Areas were defined to encompass contiguous blocks of land of the highest wildness.
The areas identified and selected by Phase III can be downloaded from the SNHi Natural Spaces web page.
SNH will review all comments received and prepare further advice to Scottish Ministers on the Core areas of wild land 2013 map in early 2014. Until Government confirms its approach to wild land in the finalised National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy in June 2014, we will continue to apply the established set of Search Areas for Wild Land.
If you have any further questions on this work please email email@example.com
Last updated on Thursday 7th November 2013 at 13:10 PM. Click here to comment on this page