The hill and mountain areas in Europe are multi-faceted and places of differing and often conflicting land activities. Scotland provides a good example of a well described history of land uses with conflicting provision and management objectives. Using Scotland’s hill areas as a case study, the article argues that using a dual interacting dichotomy of “use” of the land versus “delight” from the land, and of management for “a few” towards management for “the many”, could be used to describe and analyse the past and present conflicts over land activities. This article explores the political influences and historic evolution of hill farming and other associated hill land activities or interests, as well as the underlying conflicts that affect them. Most of these conflicts are grounded in historical, political and economic priorities, divergent management objectives and conflicting stakeholders’ views. The article further argues these conflicts could be better understood by an appreciation of the different elements of “use” and “delight”, and of the different views and uses of interested parties. By asking both “what is it for?” and “who is it for?” a dual dichotomy approach was found to be useful to review these intricate issues overtime.
- Hill land