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Unna Principles


In promoting the preservation of this “primitive” quality, Unna spelt out clear principles including that the hills should not be made easier or safer to climb, that no facilities should be introduced for mechanical transport, that paths should not be extended or improved and that there should be no directional or other signs, paint marks or cairns introduced. And that no facilities for lodging, shelter or food should be built in the hills.

The Unna Principles have guided the management of all the Trust’s mountains ever since.  In 2002 we carried out a review of the Principles and have now published our Wild Land Policy: we’ve defined Wild Land as being “relatively remote and inaccessible, not noticeably affected by contemporary human activity, and offering high-quality opportunities to escape from the pressures of everyday living and to find physical and spiritual refreshment”.

The full Wild Land Policy is set out on [please link to attachment].

What has been the lasting Unna legacy?  He personally bought Kintail for the Nation, and his donations and legacy have encouraged the Trust to acquire many of Scotland’s finest mountains.  We currently care for 46 Munros (hills over 3000 feet or 914 metres), that is 1 in 6 of all of them.  

You will find these mountains uncluttered with “mechanical transport”, without way-marks, and with sensitive path management lightly carried out to heal erosion scars, not to make access easier.  In other words, “mountains without handrails”.

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