Comments from Supporters of our campaign for more National Parks
John Muir Trust – Mike Daniels, Head of Land Management
“National Parks have the potential to ensure the protection of wildness qualities by upholding their aims and purpose. They help to connect people with nature and each year they provide the setting for hundreds of individual experiences in nature through the John Muir Award. The Trust supports this campaign call for more National Parks as a means to help protect, enhance and recover wildness in Scotland.”
Marine Conservation Society – Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland
“Scotland has among the most iconic coasts and seas on Earth. Progress has been made on marine conservation, but there is much still to be done. What happens on land, including farming, forestry and wastewater treatment, impacts our coastal waters, whilst activities at sea rely on coastal infrastructure, terrestrial supply chains and a healthy environment. A Coastal and Marine National Park (CMNP) provides an excellent opportunity to deliver integrated, sustainable management across land and sea, with oversight from a single authority, benefiting the environment and coastal communities. MCS supported previous CMNP proposals and would welcome more, among further necessary marine planning and conservation measures.”
Mountaineering Scotland – David Gibson, Chief Officer
“Scotland has some of the finest mountains and wild land assets in the world. National Park status would ensure that many of these assets will be respected and safeguarded for future generations to enjoy. A national parks strategy … would demonstrate that the Scottish Government recognises the value of such assets and that it has a commitment to their protection.”
National Trust for Scotland – Simon Skinner, Chief Executive
“National Parks bring many environmental, social, economic, cultural and health benefits to the people and areas they cover and more widely to the people of Scotland. The principle of bringing all interests together, with a common vision and a framework for action, is a good one. We therefore urge the Government to take the lead and to prepare and implement a strategy that empowers further communities to take this step, creating more sustainable communities and places for the future whilst also protecting areas of Scotland’s most outstanding landscapes and heritage for all.”
Ramblers Scotland – Brendan Paddy, Director
“Scotland’s natural heritage is widely recognised as a national asset and a magnificent setting for outdoor recreation which brings recognised benefits for our health and well-being. Our landscapes, mountains, ancient woodlands, rugged coastline, lochs and rivers all attract millions of visitors each year and nature based tourism is estimated to be worth around £1.4bn to the economy. We have long called for the government to consider setting up more National Parks. We recognise their value in promoting rural economic development while also bringing higher levels of protection to our most treasured landscapes and our natural and cultural heritage, and acting as a focus for outdoor recreation. National Parks bring significant social and economic benefit, directly through the work generated in park planning and management, but also indirectly through tourism. Where there is strong local support, National Park status could be the key to restoring job prospects, promoting the aims of sustainable development and enhancing tourism opportunities.”
RSPB Scotland – Aedan Smith, Head of Policy and Advocacy
“RSPB Scotland supports National Parks and welcomes the opportunity to participate in the national conversation about the future of our National Parks here in Scotland. RSPB Scotland supports the creation of new National Parks in Scotland, but new and existing National Parks must deliver more for nature. Scotland’s nature is in trouble and urgently needs our help to recover. National Parks, alongside our protected nature sites, can act as important refuges for wildlife, and should be our best landscapes for nature, climate and people. To live up to this potential and ensure the Scottish Government’s target to protect at least 30% of land for nature by 2030 is meaningful, National Parks must be transformed and supported to protect and restore nature at scale in a way that helps our climate and delivers benefits to people”.
Woodland Trust Scotland – Carol Evans, Director
“We do not consider it unreasonable for the Scottish Government to have a strategy for the creation of new National Parks. As the issue of land use becomes ever more relevant in Scotland it is important that proper strategic planning and management are able to be carried out, especially regarding the issue of native woodland which still makes up less than a quarter of all Scotland’s forest. This sort of strategic approach can already be seen in the existing National Parks, where the contribution of woodland and forestry to the nature and character of the National Parks is already recognised, as are the benefits which they bring to local communities, economies, recreation and tourism and the natural and cultural heritage of the Park areas.”
Scottish Wild Land Group – Beryl Leatherland, Convenor
“Scotland is well down the international league in the number and acreage of National Parks. In Costa Rica, once blighted by deforestation and unsustainable land use, about 25% of the land area now has National Park status, resulting in increased involvement of communities in sustainable agriculture and forest restoration. Norway, with a similar population to Scotland, has 44 National Parks, designated for landscape quality, wildlife, unique habitats and cultural artefacts. These places are no more special than Scotland; we have splendid and varied mountain and moorland landscapes, beautiful islands, unique geological features, diverse marine life and habitats, and nationally valued and loved fauna and flora. National Parks contribute socio-economic benefits, increased sustainability of local communities, diverse employment, opportunities for healthy recreation and education, and wildlife and landscape protection. SCNP and APRS have made a compelling and incontestable case for additional National Parks. It is now long overdue for the Scottish Government to act in supporting the creation of more National Parks that the nation can celebrate and enjoy.”
Scottish Wildlife Trust – Jo Pike, Chief Executive
“Scotland’s National Parks are home to iconic wildlife and habitats and we welcome the strong focus on both nature conservation and connecting people with nature that they have fostered. The Scottish Wildlife Trust would support the creation of new National Parks that increase connectivity between key habitats and which help protect, restore and celebrate nature.
“As most people in Scotland live in towns and cities we believe strong consideration should be given to creating the nation’s first urban National Park.
“This park could showcase the benefits of street trees, well connected green spaces and using nature to improve flood management. It could also allow even more people to access and engage with nature on their doorsteps.”