Mountaineering Scotland has launched its own conservation strategy – and marked the occasion with a hillside litter-pick.

In a welcome move, Mountaineering Scotland, the representative organisation for hillwalkers, climbers and ski-tourers in the Scottish mountains, has announced a new conservation strategy to help guide their environmental campaigning.

The new policy looks at three main areas.

  • Land Use & Wildlife issues include overgrazing by wild or domestic animals, the creation of extensive monocultures through excessive muirburn or large, single-species forestry plantations, and the concept of rewilding.
  • Under Wild Land & Development Activity the strategy looks at ways of responding to increasing demands for wind turbines, hydro power schemes and new hill tracks in wild areas.
  • And in Recreational Activity the spotlight is turned on walkers and climbers themselves, looking at what people can do to minimise their impact on the environment.

Stuart Younie, Chief Executive Officer of Mountaineering Scotland, said: “Our landscape provides us the environment in which to enjoy our recreational activities, so we need to do our part to help preserve and enhance it.

“Mountaineering Scotland already has a strong record of campaigning on issues that matter to its members. We will continue to do that and by launching this strategy we hope it sends a clear message to Government and other organisations about our commitment to the conservation agenda, and also our desire to take a strategic approach and engage with other organisations to help influence change in policy and legislation.”

Pictured with the new Mountaineering Scotland Conservation Strategy are, from left: Stuart Younie, CEO; Davie Black, Access & Conservation Officer; Ron Neville, Director for Access & Conservation, and Jonathan Binny, Director for Landscape & Planning.

Tak it Hame

Vehicle roads in the uplands, whether for agriculture or field sports access, or for access to new hydropower schemes, have been a growing concern, and the organisation, while supportive of the drive for increased renewable energy, continues to object to wind farm proposals in inappropriate locations.

Over the last twelve months Mountaineering Scotland was active in the Mend Our Mountains appeal, which has raised £100,000 for path repairs on mountains in Scotland’s two national parks.

And a new campaign – Tak It Hame – is encouraging members, and other walkers and climbers, to take home their own rubbish from the hills and to pick up any other rubbish they find there. Directors, staff and members all took part in a litter-pick on Birnam Hill on Saturday to mark the launch of the conservation strategy.

Access & Conservation Officer Davie Black brings the Conservation Strategy to life for fellow members and guests at the launch event on Birnam Hill.

In a survey of Mountaineering Scotland’s 14,000 members, 85% of respondents gave a high priority to campaigning to protect the wildness of Scotland’s mountain areas.

The new conservation strategy is downloadable at

Header image: Mountaineering Scotland directors and staff with members and guests at the top of Birnam Hill near Dunkeld.