Wild land and 'wildness' in Scotland


Carn GhluasaidThe concept of 'wild land' is related to (but is different from) that of 'wilderness', a term more commonly used in North America, where it has a legal status.

There has been a long, rich and continuing discussion regarding 'wild land' in Scotland, where its definition includes cultural and perceptual as well as ecological criteria, and it is also linked to opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Staff at the Centre for Mountain Studies have been involved in a range of studies to map wild areas and research the meanings of the concept in more detail.

In 2010, the CMS hosted a conference on wild land at the SNH conference centre in Battleby (Scotland's wild landscapes - new ways forwards).

Full citations

Brown, C., Mc Morran, R. and Price, M.F. (2012) Re-wilding – A new paradigm for nature conservation in Scotland? Scottish Geographical Journal, 127, 288-314.

Carver, S., Comber, A., Mc Morran, R. and Nutter, S. (2011) Understanding spatial patterns and distribution of wild land: developing GIS approaches to modelling wildness in Scotland’s national parks.  Landscape and Urban Planning, 104 (3-4), 395-409.

Fisher, M., Carver, S., Kun, Z, Mc Morran, R., Arrell, K. and Mitchell, G. (2010), Review of status and conservation of wild land in Europe. Scottish Government.

Comber, A., Carver, S., Fritz, S., Mc Morran, R. Washtell, J. and Fisher, P. (2009) Different methods, different wilds: Evaluating alternative mappings of wildness using fuzzy MCE. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 34, 142-152.

Mc Morran, R, Price, M.F. and Warren, C. (2008) The call of different wilds: The importance of definition and perception in protecting and managing Scottish wild landscapes. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 51 (2) 177-199.

Carver, S., Comber, L., Fritz, S., Mc Morran, R., Taylor, S. and Washtell, J. (2008) Wildness Study in the Cairngorms National Park. University of Leeds.

Mc Morran, R., Price, M.F. and McVittie, A. (2006) A review of the benefits and opportunities attributed to Scotland's landscapes of wild character. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 194 (ROAME No. F04NC18).