Landscape Charities Welcome Progress Towards New National Parks – Press Release
SCNP and APRS have led the campaign for more National Parks in Scotland. National Parks are the leading internationally-recognised designation for places of the highest national importance for natural or cultural heritage, including landscape, wildlife and recreation. Scotland’s two existing parks, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs NP and the Cairngorms NP were created under one of the first Acts of the Scottish Parliament.
SCNP and APRS welcomed today’s announcement by Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, of the first steps in the process that will lead to the designation of more National Parks in Scotland. This will fulfill a commitment made in the 2021 Programme for Government to create one or more new National Parks by the end of the parliamentary term. This marks an important day for landscape protection in Scotland and will hopefully encourage a wider conversation about how we can adapt fast enough to the climate crisis and manage landscapes to benefit residents and visitors in a nature positive way.
National Parks also have a key role in terms of sustainable development with particular potential for growing jobs in a green visitor economy. National Park status can bring investment in facilities and expertise to welcome visitors from Scotland and further afield.
National Park designation brings a greater degree of focus and co-ordination between all public bodies to further the Park’s aims, which gives our most valued landscapes greater protection from development that would damage the area’s special qualities.
The charities encourage everyone with an interest in Scotland’s wonderful landscapes and seascapes to respond to the initial Scottish Government consultation via the Dialogue Online Platform. The Government is seeking views on the future role of National Parks over the next few weeks to inform the next steps in the process. Further down the line the focus will shift to which areas might be most suitable for National Park status and we would encourage local communities to start to consider whether a National Park would benefit their areas.
Scottish Campaign for National Parks Chairman John Thomson said: “Today’s announcement is a welcome staging post on a journey that SCNP and APRS have long believed can bring huge benefits to Scotland. Given the right role and resources, National Parks can be a key component in building a better, more environmentally and economically sustainable future for its rural areas and communities”.
The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland Director John Mayhew said: “Our National Parks are good for Scotland in so many ways – they look after our finest landscapes, they tackle the climate emergency and the nature crisis, and they provide a warm welcome to visitors seeking healthy outdoor exercise. That’s why it is so exciting to see the debate about where our next National Parks might be starting today”.
- ‘National Park’ is the leading internationally-recognised designation for places of the highest national importance for natural or cultural heritage – including landscape, wildlife, recreation, historic environment and cultural traditions. There are over 3,500 National Parks in the world, including for example 29 in Norway and 14 in New Zealand.
- Some are truly wild places; many, including in Scotland, are working landscapes, where some of their special qualities derive from the ways in which land managers have cared for the landscape over the centuries.
- The National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 allows great flexibility in National Park Authority functions and powers, which can be tailored to local circumstances. The Act requires Scottish National Parks to pursue the sustainable economic and social development of local communities alongside conservation and recreation. National Parks are 100% funded by the Scottish Government.
- For further information please contact Project Manager Nikki Sinclair on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) promotes the protection, enhancement and enjoyment of National Parks, potential National Parks and other nationally outstanding areas worthy of special protection. SCNP is a registered Scottish charity, No SC031008. www.scnp.org.uk
- The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS) promotes the care of all of Scotland’s rural landscapes. APRS is a registered Scottish charity, No SC016139. www.aprs.scot