A response to the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) consultation on Scotland’s Future Landscapes.
LINK agrees with the integrative approach suggested within this paper, but emphasises that the European Landscape Convention must underpin all future policies and strategies in Scotland if landscape is not to remain very much undervalued as at present. An effective strategy for safeguarding and enhancing landscapes must be the outcome of not only this consultation but must also be reflected in the policy and strategies arising from the current reviews of agriculture, forestry and planning. Three landscape sectors need particular attention:-
- Stronger protection for those landscapes that might be recognised as being of global, European or National importance including National Parks, National Scenic Areas, and areas of wild land and cultural landscapes which are presently not designated.
- More effective management of the changing practices in agriculture and forestry to recognise the switch in emphasis from production to consumption and the opportunities afforded by new national planning provisions for biodiversity and water.
- Enhancement of ‘green spaces’ around and even within cities, towns and villages that afford opportunities for leisure and recreation and are vital to a sense of place and identity, historical continuity and community identity.
In addition, coastlines or seascapes need to be more closely recognised in line with the landscape principles set out in the paper.