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Wildness Study

A GIS-based methodology is developed to map wildness attributes in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. This is based on previous work by the team members on wild land quality mapping utilising GIS-based multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) and fuzzy mapping methods and work mapping wildness in the Cairngorms National Park (see Carver et al., 2002; Carver et al., 2008 and Fritz et al., 2000).

Existing digital map datasets are used wherever possible supplied under licence from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and other organisations as appropriate. These are used to develop map datasets describing the four principal attributes that contribute to wildness in the National Park, namely perceived naturalness of land cover, absence of modern artefacts, rugged and physically challenging terrain, and remoteness. The attribute maps are combined into wildness maps for the park area using MCE/fuzzy mapping methods. This has allowed the relative priorities derived from the perception study to be reflected in the wildness map without the need for deterministic criteria or sharp boundaries defining that which is considered wild and that which is not. The method has been implemented across the whole of the National Park at a high resolution and the lifecycle of each dataset established to allow for ease of maintenance and future updates by National Park and SNH staff. A wildness mapping tool suitable for implementation in ArcGIS 9.3 has been developed and provided for use by the National Park along with a novel rapid viewshed assessment tool. The steps in the development of this wildness assessment method, its application and the outputs generated are outlined in detail later in this report.

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