NEMT 2009 Membership Survey
NEMT Members will have seen our consultation questionnaire that we sent out
earlier this year. At the time of writing, we have had a good response and have
quite a respectable body of material to work with. We are still waiting for
some replies. In particular, some of out Member Clubs are still working on their
response. So, what follows is an interim view that will be updated.
Here is our view of the themes emerging (some strongly!). You will see that
some of the themes try to balance a cross-section of views. Inevitably, this
sort of survey produces a range of opinion. We have tried to reflect this range
in the summary below.
- We should concentrate on local issues but be alert to national issues, particularly
when there is a local context.
- There is nothing specific on other local issues that we should take up.
We take this as an endorsement that we're generally right as we are.
- There is strong agreement to leave CNPA, as a whole, to the Cairngorms
Campaign. We need to support the CC as necessary and continue with focus on
specific issues, many of which will be relevant to the Park.
- Mountains and wild land should be our clear priority, but don't ignore
the coastline, particularly if it's in the NE.
- Strong endorsement to leave Marine Conservation to others, more knowledgeable
on the subject.
- The idea of focussing on land above 400 m has support, but don't neglect
lower lying land, particularly wild land.
- There is effectively unanimous agreement on the importance of "wild
land". Based on this, we would propose to test any future decision on
whether we get involved with an issue by asking how it effects wild land.
- The concept of "quality of experience" is generally supported
but isn't strong enough to rally any energy or focus We have had a wide
range of answers back.
- All are agreed on the importance of climate change and that it should inform
our response on many issues but generally feel that specific campaigning on
the subject is best left to the national NGOs.
- There is strong endorsement for the current position of taking the middle
ground on the siting of wind farms and approaching issues on a case-by-case
basis. There is general agreement that the main driver should the quality
of the landscape that is damaged.
- In terms of recreation, we should concentrate on hill walking and climbing
but be aware of and cover all aspects of mountain recreation, e.g. mountain
biking. Our position should be firmly within the context of conserving our
wild land resource.
- There is general support for the NTS approach of the "long walk in", but
that we should be careful not to get too dogmatic on this.
- Strong endorsement to more specifically target local and national politicians.
To do this effectively, we need to be well informed and not seen to be just
- There were a variety of suggestions on making better use of the talents
of the membership generally in line with our existing thinking.
Some phrases that caught our eye in terms of neatly expressing an argument
are set out below: -
- Core Cairngorms should be an area people aspire to rather than have
it brought to a level anyone can access.
- The potential "civilisation" of the Cairngorms and surrounding
high land to the detriment of those seeking a challenging outdoor experience.
- Reducing access maintaining political access.
- Renaming us the "North East Mountain and Wild Land Trust".
We will continue to update this summary as we get additional replies back and
plan to publish a final version before the summer. At this stage, we are very
pleased with the outcome and consider the exercise to have been well worthwhile.
The themes above confirm much of our existing direction but give some very useful
guidelines for choosing how to focus our efforts and hence maximise our leverage.
Hopefully, this sharper focus should improve our effectiveness in the future.
David Windle, NEMT Chairman
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