Hill tracks in Scotland

The case for better control of vehicle tracks in Scotland's finest landscapes

Poorly constructed vehicle tracks (“hilltracks”) have been a concern to environmental and recreation groups for decades due to the damage they can cause to the landscape and sensitive habitats. Some examples can be seen in our photo gallery.  We published a report “Changing Tracks” in September 2018 which considered how effective these changes have been in stopping the building of damaging tracks. You can read the report and its recommendation that PDRs be removed from agricultural tracks here.

Where next for the campaign?

The former Planning Minister Kevin Stewart promised to consider hilltracks again during a major review of “Permitted Development Rights”; this was expected to start in 2020, though was delayed due to the pandemic. We have recently written to the current Planning Minister, Tom Arthur, and the Chief Planner highlighting our concerns about this delay. Further information about the next stage of the campaign will be published here as more information becomes available.

How you can help!

Take photos! Photos which help to show why planning legislation needs tightening are really helpful to the campaign. If you come across a new track/track of concern when you are out in the hills, please send us a photo and details. You can send photos via email hilltracks email

Share your photos on social media #hilltracks photos

Write or speak to your elected representatives in the Scottish Parliament and/or your local authority. Find out who represents you here

Keep an eye on the weekly planning lists published online by local authorities and the National Parks. If you see a Prior Notification for a track of concern let them know. Although planning authorities are not obliged to take public comments into account members of the public can make a valuable contribution so it is always worth a try!

Contact the Campaign hilltracks email

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