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Animal Concern Advice Line News

Support MSP Andy Wightman's Amendments to the Planning Bill

To ACAL and Animal Concern supporters in Scotland.


I am sending you this e-mail from Andy Wightman MSP in the hope that you will write to your MSP asking them to support his amendments to the Planning Bill.

Many moons ago I was hillwalking high in the Cairngorms when one of our group fell and injured her ankle. It wasn't a serious injury but she couldn't walk and we had to help her down the hill. We sent someone on ahead to bring our minibus up the track to meet us at the foot of the mountain and save our casualty a six mile hobble back to our campsite.

The gate to the track was padlocked and our driver went to the Estate office to borrow a key only to be told the track was not for the use of the public. It was only for use by estate vehicles to take grouse shooters to the butts and stalkers into the hills. Our driver used his diplomatic skills and a key was provided. I'm not sure if it was the threat to reverse through the gate or to go to the pub and phone the Daily Record which done the trick.

These tracks which scar and erode our hills are only there to make it easier for shooters and gamekeepers to kill wildlife.

Cheers, John

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Wightman MSP <>
Subject: TAKE ACTION: hunting tracks

Protect Scotland's Landscape

I need your help.

The Planning Bill will be debated at its third and final stage from 18 – 20 June 2019.

I have lodged amendments to ensure that hunting tracks are subject to full planning control but I need you to write to your MSPs to ask them to back these proposals.

Take action

Hunting estates dominate Scotland's uplands. To make hunting easier, tracks are bulldozed throughout the hills.

Incredibly, these tracks usually don't require full planning permission. If a landowner wants to bulldoze one, they can do so with relative ease. Strictly speaking hunting tracks need full planning consent but this is easily avoided by claiming that the tracks are for agriculture. That's why they've proliferated in recent years, scarring our hills.

My amendments would mean that all hunting tracks on land used for hunting require planning permission as well as making this a requirement in Scotland's National Parks, across Sites of Special Scientific Interest, on designated historic battlefields and in National Scenic Areas.

At Stage 2, the SNP and the Tories voted against similar amendments. This is the last chance for probably a decade to ensure that these tracks are properly regulated.

Please take a moment to email your MSPs and ask them to support Amendments 14 to 18 to the Planning Bill in the name of Andy Wightman MSP. You might want to make the following key points:

  • Across Scotland, our uplands are being damaged by landowners who bulldoze and scar the land to create tracks for deer stalking and grouse shooting.
  • These amendments would mean that landowners have to seek planning permission to construct such tracks.
  • At the very minimum, there should be full planning controls in Scotland's National Parks.
  • Amendment 18 on National Scenic Areas merely puts into law a requirement contained in a Ministerial Direction issued in 1987.

Write to your MSPs

If you have any questions or suggestions about this campaign, I'd love to hear from you. You can reply to this email and it will come straight to me.



PS – This action takes you through to the Write to Them website where you can easily write an email to your regional MSPs. You can also write to your constituency MSP on the matter, and, if you prefer, you can write to each one directly. Find your MSP and their contact details here.