Friday, May 20, 2022
NewsEnvironmentScottish public invited to share views on new National Parks

Scottish public invited to share views on new National Parks

THE SCOTTISH public are being invited to share their views on the creation of Scotland’s first new National Parks in almost 20 years.

The Scottish Government committed to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland by the end of this Parliamentary session in 2026, as part of the Bute House agreement with the Scottish Green Party and the Programme for Government.

Now, a new public consultation is looking at what people value about Scottish National Parks, and what these areas should deliver in future.

In particular, the consultation aims to find out how they can help to protect and restore nature, tackle climate change and promote sustainable land use.

Photo of Scottish landscape.
The Scottish Government aim to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland by 2026. Photo by Lucas Peng on Unsplash

This will be followed by a longer period during which communities, local government and organisations will be encouraged and supported to develop proposals for new Parks.

Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater visited Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to open the consultation, and speak to pupils at Luss Primary School who have been involved in a local COP 26 legacy tree-planting project.

Ms Slater said: “It is almost two decades since Scotland’s first National Parks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorms were established.

“Both are home to some of the country’s most outstanding scenery, are internationally important areas for nature and receive millions of visitors each year.

“They work hard to tackle the biodiversity and climate crisis, help manage facilities for visitors, promote responsible access and develop sustainable communities.

“They have become jewels in Scotland’s crown, and now is the time to add to them.

“We are committed to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland by the end of this Parliamentary session in 2026.

“To be able to do this in an open and transparent manner, we need to be able to assess any new area which is to be considered for National Park status against a set of agreed expectations. 

“We want to gauge what people want their National Parks to deliver for the environment, culture and the communities within their boundaries.”

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