The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has ruled itself out of becoming the next laird of the Cairngorm Estate.
Current owners, Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned land specialists Bidwells to investigate the full range of possible ownership options for this area of land and to assess ‘exit routes’ from its continuing ownership of the land.
At its monthly board meeting in Kingussie on Friday 4 November, the CNPA board agreed that – at this early stage in the organisations development – the CNPA should not enter into the realms of land ownership.
Nick Halfhide, the CNPA’s Head of Strategic Policy and Programme Management explained: “Instead of owning land, the CNPA should instead focus its efforts on influencing the way all land is managed in the Park by others, especially in relation to delivering the aims of the Park.
“Whatever the future ownership arrangements are, one thing that we all agree on is that there should be wide stakeholder involvement in deciding the future ownership and running of Cairngorm Estate. One option that the CNPA would certainly like to see explored further is the possibility of Forestry Commission Scotland assuming ownership of the estate, subject to them adopting an inclusive approach to its management and delivering a range of benefits for the tax payer.”
The Park Authority would like to see a number of options for the estate investigated further including Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) assuming ownership of the estate. FCS has already expressed an interest in taking on the estate – rejoining it to its holding at Glenmore – and ensuring the involvement of relevant national and local interests in advising on its management.
The CNPA’s proposals will be presented to Bidwells over the course of the next few days, helping to inform their report to HIE, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2005.
This board paper can be accessed in full at the CNPA website: www.cairngorms.co.uk/parkauthority/papers