Cairngorms National Park

The snowy mountains of Cairngorms

About the Authority

The purpose of a National Park Authority is to ensure that the National Park aims, as set out in the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000, are collectively achieved in a co-ordinated way.

National Park Aims

The four aims set out in the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 are:

  1. To conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area
  2. To promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area
  3. To promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public
  4. To promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities

Scottish National Parks differ from many other National Parks around the world in that they have a social and economic development aim alongside the aims of conservation, understanding and enjoyment of the countryside. This is an explicit recognition of those who live and work in the Park.

The aims all have equal status. However if it appears that there is conflict between the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage and other National Park aims, then the Park Authority must give greater weight to this aim.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA)

The Cairngorms National Park was established in September 2003 and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) became fully operational – taking on all its statutory powers – on 1 September 2003.

The CNPA is designed to be an enabling organisation, promoting partnership working and giving leadership to all those involved in the Cairngorms. The Park Authority does not duplicate work of other organisations, such as the enterprise agencies or Scottish Natural Heritage, but is here to ensure there is a joined-up approach to projects and initiatives that help to meet the four aims of the Park. Our Communications & Engagement Strategy sets out how we will achieve this.

With a staff of 67, plus 19 board members, the Park Authority has several statutory duties including managing outdoor access in the Park, planning and development management, the production of a Local Development Plan and the publication of a National Park Partnership Plan.

Corporate Guidance

A Management Statement and Financial Memorandum has been issued to the Park Authority to enable it to discharge its functions.