APRS News

Scottish National Parks Strategy Project June 2023

Scottish National Parks Strategy Project June 2023

Lower Glen Feshie, Cairngorms National Park

Anyone can now ‘pre-register’ with the Scottish Government if they think they might consider nominating an area of Scotland as a new National Park. The Scottish Government have committed to designating at least one new National Park by 2026 and nominations process will be launched in the Autumn which will be open for a 5-month period. Interested parties can pre-register now to be kept informed about the nomination process, potential support for developing a nomination and any important dates by emailing nationalparks@gov.scot

We know that the established campaigns for new National Parks in the Borders and Galloway have already pre-registered their interest but interest from areas with more tentative proposals is also being welcomed.  For groups that have only recently started considering the possibility of nominating an area it might be reassuring to know that the Scottish Government have said that for nominated areas that are unsuccessful in securing designation under the current commitment they will consider looking again at the contents of the nomination and any viable alternative arrangements. APRS are also hopeful that Scottish Government may take up the suggestion NatureScot made in their Advice on National Parks (2023) and make a further commitment to adding more National Parks following the current commitment.

The nominations received will be assessed against an Appraisal Framework currently being finalised and publicly consulted on. This has been developed by the Scottish Government following responses to earlier stage consultations by Scottish Government and NatureScot in 2022. APRS and SCNP are currently preparing our response to the consultation which can be accessed here.

We expect there to be a separate public consultation on potential updates to the National Parks (Scotland) Act later this summer. We understand changes may be suggested both to help National Parks deliver on their existing aims *more effectively and potentially to update the legislation so that it better reflects and responds to the nature and climate emergencies.

If we can provide any further information or advice about new National Parks please contact the Strategy project via scnp.aprs@gmail.com

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*From The National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000:

The National Park aims

In this Act, references to the National Park aims are to the following aims in relation to an area—

(a) to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area,

(b) to promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area,

(c) to promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public, and(d) to promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities.

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