Scotland newest national park, The Cairngorms, formally came into existence on Monday 1 September 2003 when it was opened by Liz Hanna, the great, great granddaughter of John Muir, founder of the National Park movement, and Allan Wilson, Deputy Environment Minister.
At 3800 square kilometres, the Cairngorms is Britain’s biggest national park, stretching from Grantown-on-Spey to the heads of the Angus Glens, from Ballater to Dalwhinnie and Drumochter, including much of the Laggan area in the south west, a large area of the Glen Livet estate and the Strathdon/Glen Buchat area.
It is home to 52 summits over 900 meters, including four of Scotland’s five highest mountains and 43 Munros.
The National Park’s Convener Andrew Thin said in his speech at the opening that this must be a Park for All. Not just a Park for the fit and the few; not just a Park for the better off; but a Park that is widely known about; that is welcoming and attractive to all; and that is accessible and enjoyable to everyone; whatever their age, ability or circumstances. The real challenge for the Cairngorms lies in how people locally and nationally think about this Park and their interests in it.