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Mountaineering groups call for hill tracks control

Posted 17 June 2011
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Mountaineering groups call for hill tracks control
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Those who like to go walking in Scotland may be among the people backing the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS) and the John Muir Trust (JMT) as they urge more action on the issue of hill tracks.

Such marks are regarded by many as a blot on the landscape and the bodies have accused ministers in Holyrood of sitting on a report written four years calling for the issue to be addressed.

Now the groups have publicly called for legislation to bring hill tracks within the bounds of planning control guidelines, meaning they cannot be added without permission.

MCoS president Chris Townsend said there has been too much stalling by the government in the past, adding: "It's now time for them to get off the fence and control the worst examples of tracks appearing in the wilder areas of Scotland."

And JMT chairman John Hutchison said without controls, the tracks will continue to have an "unacceptable impact on our outstanding landscapes."

The issue of hill tracks was debated at Holyrood in June 2010 after campaigning work by MSP Peter Peacock, whose work on the issue was supported by colleague Sarah Boyack.