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Our essential wildness The John Muir Trust is the leading wild land conservation charity in the UK. Working with people and communities to conserve, campaign and inspire, we seek to ensure that wild land is protected and that wild places are valued by and for everyone. This is our Vision.


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thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life john muir ( 1838-1914 )

John Muir was right: wildness is not a luxury, it encompasses fundamental elements of life on earth and our relationship with the natural world. This document explains what the John Muir Trust is about and why we think wildness is essential. Most importantly, it presents a new Vision for wild land and wild places in the UK and outlines the role of the Trust and others in helping to deliver that Vision. And we want you to be part of this too.

COVER QUINAG AND SUILVEN, SUTHERLAND LEFT BLĂ€ BHEINN AND CLACH GLAS, ISLE OF SKYE


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who we are

The John Muir Trust is a UK charity, with over 10,000 members, dedicated to the protection of wild land for both nature and people. Our name and ethos are inspired by Scottish-born John Muir, the first person to call for action to be taken to protect wild land. The Trust was founded in 1983 to safeguard the future of wild land against development and to promote awareness and recognition of the value of wild places. We own and manage spectacular examples of wild land in Scotland, including parts of Ben Nevis (the UK’s highest mountain), Schiehallion in Perthshire, Knoydart, Sandwood Bay in the far northwest Highlands and parts of the Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye. We campaign to protect wild land under threat and work with others to safeguard and improve it. Working with communities whose livelihoods depend on these wild places is an important aspect of our approach to land management. Just as importantly, the Trust also engages people in wild places through the John Muir Award. Started in 1997, the Award offers people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.

PINE WOOD, GLEN NEVIS


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the importance of wild land and wild places

Wild land is one of the UK’s most important assets – and where we find our most spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife. Wildness reigns in areas that are relatively free from modern development. Such land provides us with important natural resources such as clean air, water and food. And by drawing thousands of people to enjoy its solitude, beauty and challenges – nourishing mind and spirit – such land is also hugely important to our economy, tourism and leisure industries. But a connection with nature and a sense of wildness need not only be found in hard-to-reach areas; wild places can be found in our towns and cities as well as our countryside. And it is in these wild places that most people are frequently able to enjoy, value and care for nature.

i could not now say when i first grew to love the wild, only that i did, and that a need for it will always remain strong in me robert macfarlane ‘ the wild places ’

LOCH HOURN FROM LADHAR BHEINN, KNOYDART


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wildness and wild land in the united kingdom our properties: 1 2 3 4 5 6

SANDWOOD BAY QUINAG SCONSER, STRATHAIRD AND TORRIN, ISLE OF SKYE LI & COIRE DHORRCAIL, KNOYDART BEN NEVIS SCHIEHALLION

wildland quality index TOP 10% WILDEST LAND HIGH

LOW

examples of where we work with others THROUGH LAND MANAGEMENT: ASSYNT FOUNDATION BORDERS FOREST TRUST GALSON TRUST KNOYDART FOUNDATION NEVIS PARTNERSHIP NORTH HARRIS TRUST

THROUGH EDUCATION AND AWARENESS: CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY CUMBRIA YOUTH ALLIANCE JOHN MUIR BIRTHPLACE TRUST THE OUTWARD BOUND TRUST YHA (ENGLAND & WALES) OASES (COUNTY DURHAM)

THIS MAP IS REPRODUCED FROM ORDNANCE SURVEY MATERIAL WITH THE PERMISSION OF ORDNANCE SURVEY ON BEHALF OF THE CONTROLLER OF HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE. CROWN COPYRIGHT. UNAUTHORISED REPRODUCTION INFRINGES CROWN COPYRIGHT AND MAY LEAD TO PROSECUTION OR CIVIL PROCEEDINGS. FOR DATA SOURCES SEE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ON INSIDE BACK COVER JOHN MUIR TRUST LICENSE NO. 100034628 2010 ANALYSIS AND CARTOGRAPHY BY WILDLAND RESEARCH INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS


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The John Muir Trust owns and manages examples of some of the best wild land in the UK and also works with community groups, other charities and likeminded organisations in many spectacular locations. We believe that the best wild land is restricted to large areas of high scenic and wildlife value with minimal evidence of modern human development.

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SANDWOOD BAY WITH AM BUACHAILLE IN THE DISTANCE, SUTHERLAND

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QUINAG WITH A DUSTING OF SNOW, SUTHERLAND

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LOCH CORUISK AND THE CUILLIN, ISLE OF SKYE

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LOCH HOURN FROM COIRE DHORRCAIL, KNOYDART

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BEN NEVIS AND ADJOINING RIDGES, LOCHABER

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THE CONICAL SUMMIT OF SCHIEHALLION, PERTHSHIRE

In order to protect and enhance wild land, we need to be clear about what it is and where it is. Working with the Wildland Research Institute (www.wildlandresearch.org) we have produced a ‘wildness map’ based on our definition of wild land. The best 10% wild land area has been marked in blue. Unfortunately, landscapes in these best areas are being degraded and less than half is currently protected by legislation. Meanwhile, our education and awareness work through the John Muir Award operates with more than 700 providers across the whole spectrum of wildness in the UK, including our towns and cities.


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our connection with wild places

Wild land and wild places can be appreciated by people of all ages and from all walks of life. It is a belief that we reinforce on a daily basis through the John Muir Award – our principal education initiative. So far, the Award has helped tens of thousands of people from across the UK experience, appreciate and do something positive for wild places.

i love being surrounded by nature, and it makes me feel so alive and excited. you would be surprised what you learn by just walking through the trees caoimhe p7, st aloysisus college ‒ glasgow

RIGHT JOHN MUIR AWARD PARTICIPANTS, WHINLATTER FOREST FOLLOWING SPREAD CAMPING AT INVERIE, KNOYDART


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our vision for wild land and wild places

Our Vision is that: Wild land is protected and enhanced throughout the UK and wild places are valued by all sectors of society. This Vision is ambitious and long-term. It aims to provide the foundation for our work and to inspire others. But it can only be achieved if we successfully influence and encourage governments, landowners and managers, people living alongside wild land, voluntary organisations and the wider public to accept its merits and realise its ambitions. This Vision will be achieved when:

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Wild land is protected Wild land is enhanced People engage with wild places Communities thrive alongside wild land


TOP CONSERVATION WORK PARTY, JOHN MUIR AWARD

TOP GOLDEN EAGLE - AN ICON OF WILD LAND

TOP BEACH CLEAN AT CAMASUNARY BAY, ISLE OF SKYE

MIDDLE ENJOYING PERFECT WINTER CONDITIONS, GLEN AFFRIC

MIDDLE ISOLATED PINES IN UPPER GLEN NEVIS

MIDDLE WORKING THE LAND, SCONSER, ISLE OF SKYE

BOTTOM SEA STACKS NEAR SANDWOOD BAY, SUTHERLAND

BOTTOM WILD LAND RANGER AND DOGS, SCHIEHALLION

BOTTOM PRAWN FISHING, ELGOL, ISLE OF SKYE


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wild land is protected

There is currently inadequate protection for landscapes in our most important wild land areas. As a result, they are being lost and degraded at an alarming rate. Our Vision is that: –

Large areas of wild land, incorporating our most spectacular, remote and beautiful landscape, rich in wildlife, will be protected by new legislation and holistic policies

Wild land conservation will have widespread support from the public and landowners

The recreational quality of wild land and its ability to provide tranquillity and solitude will be cherished

Wild land will be managed sustainably to help protect and benefit the natural and cultural capital it contains as well as supporting sustainable economies and communities

FAIRY POOLS, GLEN BRITTLE, ISLE OF SKYE


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wild land is enhanced

There is much that can be done to improve the quality of wild land in the UK. Our Vision is that: –

Poorly sited and inappropriate man-made structures will be removed to improve the quality of the wild landscape

Restoration of natural processes across large areas of wild land will help to reverse declines in native wildlife

Non-native invasive species will be actively controlled, while previously lost native species will be reintroduced

Peatlands will be restored and native woodland will expand across large areas of its natural range as a result of reduced grazing pressure

These actions will help provide all of us with natural goods and services – from clean air to fresh water and efficient carbon storage – and create more robust ecosystems that are better able to adapt to our changing climate.

MONITORING ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION, SCOTTISH BORDERS


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people engage with wild places

People of all ages and backgrounds can be encouraged to connect, enjoy and care for wild places. Our Vision is that: –

Outdoor learning will be incorporated into all stages of learning

The environment, protection and enjoyment of wild places will provide a focus for youth work and community-based activities

Connecting with nature and wild places will improve the health and well-being of our nation, and people will be supported and encouraged to make these connections – so reversing the current devaluing of wildness

GREEN TEAM VOLUNTEER, JOHN MUIR AWARD


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communities thrive alongside wild land

The needs of people and communities can be met without destroying the value and special qualities of wild land. Our Vision is that: –

Recreation such as walking, climbing, eco-tourism and deer stalking will take place in high quality wild land and wild places, providing valuable jobs and income for rural and remote communities

Financial support for farming, crofting and forestry will maintain livelihoods and improve the environment

People living alongside wild land areas will benefit from small scale, local renewable energy schemes to support communities and meet their own energy needs

ALASDAIR MACPHERSON, WILD LAND MANAGER AND CROFTER, ISLE OF SKYE


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our pledge for wildness

In striving to achieve this Vision, the John Muir Trust will: – – –

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Protect and improve important areas of wild land throughout the UK, through ownership and by working with others Improve the ecological health of wild land Influence policies and decisions for the benefit of wild land, wild places and people who rely on its protection and sustainable development Make the case for designation and improved protection of wild land areas Promote awareness, active involvement and respect for wild land and wild places Develop and promote the John Muir Award across the UK, especially for the young and socially disadvantaged Work with people and communities that live alongside areas of wild land for mutual benefit Engage our members and the wider public in the activities and ambitions of the Trust, the benefits of realising this Vision and the ethos of John Muir

It’s a big ambition, but we’re not alone. We have thousands of members behind us. And more and more people are coming to understand that wildness is a necessity in our lives – spiritually, economically and practically.

ENJOYING THE TRANQUILLITY OF UPPER GLEN NEVIS


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realising our vision

Through this pledge we will help to deliver this Vision. But we cannot achieve it by just owning and managing land, influencing policies, or engaging with people through the John Muir Award. The strength and future of the Trust and our success in achieving this Vision lies in seeing the connections between these elements. Wildness is the common thread. John Muir emphasised its natural, spiritual and economic value 100 years ago and his words have fresh resonance today. This time we need to listen and take action.

Please join us and be part of our Vision.

do something for wildness and make the mountains glad john muir

BLĂ€ BHEINN, ISLE OF SKYE


John Muir Trust Tower House Station Road Pitlochry PH16 5AN 01796 470080 / admin@jmt.org Scottish Charity No: SC002061 Company Number: SC81620 Limited by Guarantee Registered Office: Tower House Station Road Pitlochry PH16 5AN

PHOTOGRAPHY: IAIN BROWNLIE ROY COVER, 07 (TOP, MIDDLE) KEITH BRAME INSIDE FRONT COVER, 02 / 03, 07 (TOP LEFT; BOTTOM ROW), 08 / 09, 13 (TOP, LEFT; MIDDLE, CENTRE AND RIGHT; BOTTOM ROW); 14 /15, 16 /17, 18 /19, 20 / 21 CAROL NEWBIGGIN 22/23

RORY SYME 13 (TOP, RIGHT) JIM MANTHORPE 04 / 05, 10 /11 GORDON STAINFORTH 07 (TOP, RIGHT), INSIDE BACK COVER PETE CAIRNS 13 (MIDDLE, TOP) RICHARD ROWE 13 (MIDDLE, LEFT)

WILD LAND MAP DATA SOURCES: COPYRIGHT ORNL LANDSCAN 2008TM / UT-BATTELLE, LLC; EEA COPENHAGEN 2007; DLR 2010; ESRI 2010. COPYRIGHT CEH COUNTRYSIDE INFORMATION SYSTEM 2000, THE 1991 CENSUS, CROWN COPYRIGHT. ESRC / JISC PURCHASE, © CROWN COPYRIGHT/DATABASE RIGHT 2009. AN ORDNANCE SURVEY / EDINA SUPPLIED SERVICE.

THIS DOCUMENT IS PRINTED ON 9LIVES 80 SILK COATED 170 / 300gsm. 9LIVES 80 IS PRODUCED USING 20% RECYCLED WOOD AND FIBRE, 60% FSC CERTIFIED DE-INKED FIBRE RECOVERED FROM POST-CONSUMER SOURCES, 10% FSC ACCREDITED VIRGIN TCF FIBRE AND 10% VIRGIN FIBRE FROM SUSTAINABLE FORESTS.


To find out more about our work and membership, visit: www.jmt.org


Our Essential Wildness  

John Muir Trust Vision for Wild Land and WIld Places in the UK

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