Ahead of the General Election, politicians are being challenged to embrace fresh policies to protect Scotland's mountains and wild places, and the public are asked to show their support by signing a national petition.

This would call for a ban on further industrial development such as large scale wind farms on the remaining wild land, as mapped by Scottish National Heritage last year.

Just weeks after claiming shortcomings in the Scottish Government's handling of wind farm applications, where counsel from its own advisors is too often ignored by ministers, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has launched a new initiative has published a booklet 'Respecting Scotland's Mountains: MCofS Vision for the Future'. It points the way ahead to a sustainable future where appropriate development and conservation can go side by side.

MCofS President Brian Linington said: "We call on politicians to protect and promote our mountains as the incredible asset that they are, to open their eyes to the permanent damage being done to this irreplaceable resource by ill-considered developments.

"With a General Election looming the moment has come for all the political parties to be absolutely clear that they are committed to the protection of our mountains and wild places. They can do this by joining us in working for a future which respects our natural heritage and makes the most of it for our country and its people."