22nd June 2012
Investing in some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes and generating growth in our rural economy are at the heart of plans to manage Scotland’s two National Parks over the next five years, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead said today (Friday 22nd June).
The Minister was speaking as he launched five-year (2012-2017) plans for the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Parks at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.
The plans set out how each Park will be managed, together delivering outstanding tourism destinations, investing in some of Scotland’s most loved landscapes and wildlife, and generating growth in rural economies.
They also show how the public sector, businesses, land managers and communities will continue to come together to help keep these national assets special and achieve the four aims of the National Parks, benefitting both the people of Scotland and visitors alike.
Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland’s National Parks are two of our most spectacular assets and I’m delighted to launch these plans that show the level of ambition we have for them.
“By having plans for the next five years, we can build on the success of the Parks to date and continue to deliver outstanding attractions with magnificent scenery and lots of different wildlife for visitors to explore. The Parks are places to inspire and enjoy, and are key contributors to the quality of our national tourism, economy and environment. There is much to be excited about in both the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
“Through investing in the Parks we will ensure they continue to flourish and generate growth in Scotland’s rural economy for years to come. I urge everyone with a part to play to continue to make these special places to live, work and visit, and to make the most of them for all of Scotland.”
Deputy convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Brian Wood said: “We want to ensure that businesses and communities in the Cairngorms National Park thrive and are sustainable; that the Park continues to be a special place for people and nature; and that outstanding visitor and learning experiences can be enjoyed by everyone.”
“Some of the highlights in the Cairngorms National Park will be a new strategy to grow and diversify the economy, a new wildlife partnership to enhance our landscapes, habitats and species as well as continuing to provide fantastic opportunities for people to get out and enjoy the Park, through recreation, volunteering and learning opportunities.
“The first National Park Plan which covered 2007-12 proved how much can be achieved by effective collaboration and partnership working by all those involved in the active management of the Park. This new Plan will build on these solid foundations.”
Both National Parks are internationally recognised and aim to showcase the best of Scotland’s environment. Their collaborative management approach and flexibility delivers for both people and the unique places of the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Parks.
Convener of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Linda McKay said: “The spectacular landscapes and environment of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with, in particular, its magnificent lochside scenery draws millions of visitors every year.
“As a ‘special destination’ it will continue to play a vital role in Scotland’s tourism economy and in sustaining our local communities. The Park’s superb natural resources are a source of water and energy for Scotland as well as health and wellbeing for all who access the Park.
“In the face of growing visitor demand we will invest in our infrastructure and services to manage the pressures, while conserving and enhancing this very unique piece of Scotland for future generations.
“We are delighted that our community and business partners in the Park have been working so constructively with us in the preparation of the Plan and share a commitment to these ambitions.”
Copies of the Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan 2012-2017 and the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Partnership Plan 2012-2017 can be obtained at www.cairngorms.co.uk and www.lochlomond-trossachs.org respectively.