Scottish Natural Heritage is to conduct consultations on Scotland’s first National Parks

A Ministerial announcement has confirmed that two areas of Scotland, Lock Lomond and the Trossachs, and The Cairngorms, have been proposed as Scotland’s first two National Parks, and that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is to conduct consultations on the proposal.

Scottish Environment Minister, Sarah Boyack, emphasised the importance of enabling people in the local areas to express their views, and that they are being provided with a 12 week consultation period in order to do this. SNH will be required to report back to Scottish Ministers by 19 March next year on Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and by 9 July on The Cairngorms.

“I look forward to Scotland’s National Parks becoming living, working examples of the true integration of the rural economy with the conservation of natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of all Scotland’s people,” said Boyack.

SNH are pleased with the announcement. “We welcome the Minister’s continued commitment to national parks for Scotland,” said Ian Jardine, SNH Director on national parks issues. “We have already done a lot of work in both areas in preparation for the National Parks (Scotland) Act. This will be a continuation of that effort.”

The consultation on the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Park is expected to begin in late October, says Jardine, and will include the involvement of local councils to investigate the individual needs of communities. “We shall also make a special attempt to reach young people and report on their views,” said Jardine. “And there will be a series of public meetings around the area to give people the opportunity to debate the proposals and make their views known in person. But I should stress that National Parks are a national issue and all views received will be very welcome.”

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