16th March 2012
Board Members of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) have given their support to the emerging Cairngorms National Park Plan.
The plan sets outcomes to be reached over the next five years (2012-2017) along with programmes of work and the support needed from partner organisations in order to deliver these.
It supports the vision for an outstanding National Park and the longer-term outcomes of:
· A sustainable economy supporting thriving businesses and communities
· A special place for people and nature with natural and cultural heritage enhanced
· People enjoying the Park through outstanding visitor and learning experiences
Feedback received during a public consultation on the draft Cairngorms National Park Plan is helping to develop a clear Plan for where the CNPA will provide leadership in work that will deliver the four aims of the National Park.
88 responses were received from a range of individuals, public and private agencies, and non-governmental organisations along with the thoughts of 400 people who attended community sessions held across the Park between September and December 2011.
CNPA Park Plan Officer Gavin Miles said: “The responses showed peoples’ passion for what they care about in the National Park so as you would expect, there were a huge range of views as well as very useful offers of help. They will help us decide the approaches to take, balancing high aspirations with what we can actually do on the ground to deliver benefits for the National Park.
“While we cannot do what everyone wants in the exact way they want it done, through the consultation we have found out where organisations and partners can support us and work with us to collectively get results.”
There was great support for much of the draft Plan including conservation of important natural and cultural heritage. Exciting programmes that would follow include work on:
improving the condition of some of Scotland’s rarest species and habitats, many of which are found mostly in the Cairngorms.
improving the special landscape qualities of the Park, including wildness.
creating jobs and training opportunities for young people
improving IT and mobile connections to help businesses and communities
developing a “Supporting Business” programme that includes support for an Enterprise Forum for the Park and development of an economic growth and diversification strategy for the Park
a healthy land management sector across the Park including producing high quality food and drink, renewable energy and healthy ecosystems amongst other benefits
a first class visitor destination with an international reputation for iconic landscapes, accessibility, activities and quality of service
The most strongly opposing views were on the economy and housing. In order to reach the long-term vision for sustainable communities, the Board have agreed that the National Park Plan should be encouraging young people to stay in the Park. To do this there must be suitable training and education opportunities along with a growing economy to provide jobs and good wages. There must also be the possibility for housing to be built that meets their needs and the needs of the community.
Further changes will be made to the Plan over the coming months following discussions with partner organisations around the support and resources available to deliver the Plan. A final draft will go before the CNPA Board on 11 May 2012 for approval and submission to Scottish Ministers.