The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is supportive of the transfer of ownership of the Cairngorm Estate to Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) but stresses that any decisions on environmental improvements should be delayed until more information is provided and further discussions have taken place with all interested parties.
The board of the CNPA considered its response to the consultation on the transfer of the estate from current owners Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to FCS at its monthly board meeting on Friday 3 November.
David Green, Convener of the CNPA board said: “We fully support this transfer subject to the delivery of an inclusive approach to the estate’s management and the delivery of a wide range of public benefits.
“It seems sensible that Forestry Commission Scotland should assume ownership of the estate, rejoining it to its holding at Glenmore, and the organisation has a proven track record in managing land to deliver public benefits and ensuring that local and national interests are fully involved.”
Among the other points raised by the CNPA in its response to the consultation are:
- An early priority should be the production of a management plan to steer the future of the estate and this should be done following consultation involving a wide range of interested parties. Such a plan should include ways of delivering the priorities emerging in the Cairngorms National Park Plan as well as incorporating integration with neighbouring land holdings.
- Short term environmental improvements, such as the removal of some ski-ing infrastructure, should not be carried out at this stage. Decisions on these proposals should be deferred and instead considered through a full management planning process and through consultation with all those interested in this aspect of the estate.
- Bureaucracy should be minimised and all meetings relating to the management of the estate should be open to the public.
Fiona Newcombe, the CNPA’s Head of Rural Development Strategy commented: “Forestry Commission Scotland is the obvious organisation to take over the Cairngorm Estate. As an enabling organisation, the National Park Authority is not best placed to own land, but rather positively influence land management by others. We are fully supportive of this move and welcome the principle of wide stakeholder engagement in the management of the estate.
“However, there are some aspects of the consultation which require more information and discussion with interested parties, such as decisions on issues relating to short-term environmental improvements, ranger services and the integration of resources between Cairngorm Estate and Glenmore Estate.”
This board paper can be accessed in full here .