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CR/2009/31 Wild Land Review

Scottish Government Research Opportunity

Tenders are sought for this research project no later than noon on Thursday 19 November 2009


TENDER REF: CR/2009/31

Visit RESEARCH SPECIFICATION for additional information on the requirements of the project.

The project will commence in December 2009

Should you wish to tender for this work the tender documents can be obtained by e-mailing one of the following quoting the tender reference above:

Mrs Jacqui DiCarlo e-mail : jacqui.dicarlo@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 244 6269 Fax 0131 244 6566

Mrs Audrey Watson e-mail: audrey.watson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 244 6057 Fax: 0131 244 6566

Mrs Bridget McGee e-mail: bridget.mcgee@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 244 6050 Fax: 0131 244 6566



TENDER REF: CR/2009/31

Summary of Requirement

1. The Minister for Environment has indicated to officials that it would be helpful to commission research into how other UK and European countries recognise, protect and manage their wild land resource.

2. Wild land is referred to in NPPG 14 and the consultative draft SPP, and SNH's statement on Wildness in Scotland's Countryside provides a more detailed overview of the nature and management of this resource. The John Muir Trust (JMT) and National Trust for Scotland (NTS) have also developed policy statements on this subject. Wild land in Scotland is largely defined by a combination of landscape qualities (such as remoteness, ruggedness and the absence of built development) and ecological state (most natural or semi-natural areas). Wild land, therefore, is both a cultural resource that is highly valued for recreation and its contribution to Scotland's identity, as well as an ecological resource providing a wide range of ecosystem services (such as carbon sequestration and flood prevention). The term 'wild land' is intended to differentiate such places from the ecologically pristine 'wilderness' which can be found elsewhere in the world, although the two types of area have many common qualities. 'Wilderness' also has connotations of lack of human presence, whereas in a Scottish context humans live in, work on and visit wild land.

3. Wilderness is currently the focus of renewed interest and the subject of a resolution passed in the European Parliament on 3 February 2009. The resolution calls for action to give "a special status to and stricter protection for wilderness zones in the Natura network." It also advocates a range of associated actions including mapping [1] and restoration (re-wilding) of wilderness areas, sharing best practice and promoting the value of wilderness. This initiative was taken forward by the Czech Presidency and formed the basis of a conference in Prague in late May 2009. It is not yet clear how far this approach might be applied to wild land in Scotland, which is both an ecological and cultural concept. Currently, wild land areas in Scotland have only partial overlap with the Natura network.

4. Against this background, a desk-based study on wild land is required, including a general literature search, internet trawl, and contact with relevant country experts. The study should:

  • Describe:

the status of wild land in Scotland, its protection and management;

the status of wild land and approaches to its protection and management in a range of relevant European countries/ environments

  • Analyse:

the political and administrative framework ;

physical environment (landscape and ecology);

socio-economic and cultural context;

conservation/ protection framework (areas covered by Natura, landscape and other designations, how planning developments are dealt with, how resource management issues - e.g. domestic and wild herbivores - are dealt with)

  • Highlight:

conclusions and recommendations relevant to the future care of wild land in the Scottish context.

examples which demonstrate integration between management for biodiversity and landscape and recreation,

areas of particular relevance to SG policy on the future management of wild land.


5. The aims will be:

  • to briefly summarise the current condition, status, protection and management of wild land in Scotland;
  • to undertake a review of how wild land in Scotland compares with comparable environments and management approaches in other European countries;
  • to identify what lessons can be learned from experience in other European countries for approaches to the protection and management of wild land in Scotland
  • to clearly identify potential options of relevance to protection and management of wild land in Scotland.

6. This will be a desk based study, comprising:

  • literature review drawing on web based and other published and unpublished sources from bodies such as SNH, JMT, NTS, IUCN, Pan Parks Foundation and the Alpine Protected Areas Network, and;
  • contact with relevant individuals, including known authorities on wild land, and organisations including the above and other public bodies or NGOs based in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.


7. The outputs required are:

  • A project initiation meeting setting out key targets and timetable for the work
  • An interim report will also be required mid-way through the project.
  • A final written report, including an Executive Summary and recommendations section, which should be provided as a Word document, plus 5 hard copies.
  • A seminar/presentation of results to the project steering group and guests will also be required. The time to prepare and deliver the presentation at an appropriate venue (in the central belt) should therefore be include in the costings.

Policy Customer

8. The project will be managed by a Steering Group comprising of representatives from SNH, JMT, an appropriate land manager representative (e.g. identiifed through the SRPBA) and SG officials.

Duration of project

9. The project should last no longer than 6-months, with the aim to complete by spring 2010.

Sustainable Development

10. The report will be made available on both the SG and SNH websites (possibly also the JMT website) with a limited number of hard copies (25) being required.


11. Limited risks associated with this desk-based/ research study. An appropriate assessment of risks and a risk management strategy for the project should be provided as part of the Inception Plan.

Ethics and Quality Assurance

12. Tenderers must display a good understanding of the issues involved. They should also have the ability to edit and present written material in a clear, concise and informative style. Tenderers will provide a quality assurance plan that demonstrates how the quality of inputs and outputs will be ensured. The criteria for acceptance of the deliverables must be agreed and written into the Quality Plan.

[1] In a joint SNH/Cairngorm National Park Authority study wildness has been mapped across the Park using GIS modelling and based on the criteria for wild land identified in SNH's policy statement.