MEDIA RELEASE Published – 12/10/2023
Campaigners call for communities to consider a bid to highlight Scotland’s spectacular landscapes
The Scottish Government has announced the opening of the nominations process for new National Parks and campaigners are encouraging communities to consider whether their area could be put forward as a new National Park for Scotland.
The Scottish Government has made a commitment to designate at least one more National Park before the end of this Parliament in 2026. The new National Park(s) will to be selected from areas nominated by communities over the next few months.
The Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) and Action to Protect Rural Scotland (APRS) have been campaigning for over a decade for Scotland’s existing tally of two National Parks to be added to, and today welcomed the opening of nominations for new National Parks.
Dr Kat Jones, Director of Action to Protect Rural Scotland (APRS) said:
“It’s been twenty years since a National Park was designated in Scotland, and we have so many important landscapes which should be recognised through this process. APRS are encouraging communities to consider whether their area could be Scotland’s newest National Park.
“All over Scotland there are places and communities crying out for the economic, social and environmental benefits that National Park status brings.”
John Thomson, Chair of Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) said:
“National Parks globally have always been at the forefront of efforts to protect the best of our landscapes and nature for all to enjoy. In Scotland they are also charged with bringing benefit to local communities from the sustainable use of these assets.
“The broad remit of National Parks makes them uniquely well placed to chart an environmentally responsible way forward as we face up to the potential catastrophes of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“Scotland has so many areas worthy of this accolade and we have so much to lose if we do not seize the opportunity that an expansion of the National Park network has to offer. SCNP is delighted to hear that, even before nominations had opened, the Scottish Government has received over 10 expressions of interest. We very much hope that most, if not all of these, will get taken forward to the next stage.”
In 2013 the two charities jointly published the report “Unfinished Business’ setting out the case for more National Parks and highlighting seven areas of Scotland that were potentially worthy of designation. However they were also aware that there were many other areas that would be worthy of the designation.
There are long standing campaigns in the Borders and in Galloway for National Park status which have gathered momentum locally. For communities starting on the process, the Scottish Government have pledged some support to communities who wish to apply.
Action to Protect Rural Scotland (APRS) is Scotland’s Countryside Charity. They campaign to protect, enhance and promote Scotland’s countryside and rural landscapes for everyone’s benefit
The Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) is the national charity that campaigns to protect and promote the cause of and case for National Parks in Scotland.
Kat Jones, APRS
(0131) 225 7012