At the outset of the #RoamResponsibly movement, we contacted a number of organisations with a view to collaborating to promote environmental conservation and inspire others to take action to preserve Scotland's beauty. John Muir Trust (JMT), a prominent conservation organisation in Scotland, were one of the first to reply and we were pleased to be invited along to their Schiehallion estate in July 2017 to hear more about the organisation and its ethos. The ‘walk and talk’ format gave us an opportunity to have a frank discussion on some of the key issues facing Scotland's wild places and the work that the organisation is doing to protect and manage these places.
John Muir Trust is a charity founded in 1983 and named after John Muir, a Scot who is most well-known for founding the modern conservation movement (read more about JMT). JMT's mission is to protect and conserve Scotland's wild places and manage those by rewilding habitats, managing deer and monitoring biodiversity (read more about JMT's work).
We are in the unique position of being able to use our collective social media voice to open up dialogue with a wide demographic including the harder to reach younger demographic. Going forward we hope to organise more walk and talk sessions with JMT, raise awareness of the organisation and its work with a younger demographic and use our joint voices to promote and inspire everyone to not just visit these beautiful places but to also take responsibility for ensuring that future generations will be able to derive just as much enjoyment from them as we currently do.
One of our active campaigners Michael MacDonald (@ruanaich), who came along to the Schiehallion instameet with John Muir Trust wrote a brilliant blog post 'Does social media impact on our environment? Do we have a responsibility?' discussing the impact of social media on nature and landscapes, which is something that the #RoamResponsibly campaign aims to tackle. In his blog post Michael MacDonald writes: 'I did listen to a BBC Radio Scotland episode a while ago, where they discussed the use of social media by the US National Parks to ‘forecast’ if you like, potential hot-spots and manage the levels of visitors. While I hope we never get to that level of management here in Scotland it does show that, as well as being a factor in the popularity of certain locations, social media may potentially be used to manage and reduce harm caused by an upturn in popularity.' Read the blog post here.