Skip to content

Park Talk: Come on board!

25th November 2022

By Xander McDade, Convener, Cairngorms National Park Authority Board

I joined the Board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority over five years ago, after being nominated by Perth & Kinross Council – one of seven Board members appointed by the local authorities covering the Park area. Another seven members are appointed by Scottish Government Ministers and five are directly elected to the Board by the Park’s residents.

Regardless of how or why a person comes onto the Park Authority Board, every member has an equal, key role to play and a common set of duties to act in the best interests of the National Park Authority – and this cross section of representatives helps to ensure that local as well as national priorities are being delivered across the National Park.

I thoroughly enjoy being on the Park Authority Board. It is one of the most rewarding parts of my busy life and I am deeply honoured to have been elected Convener by my colleagues.

I am passionate about the nature and the people of the Park and if you are too – then you should consider standing as a candidate in the forthcoming Cairngorms National Park Authority board elections, which take place in March next year.

There are five wards to be contested and we are keen to see candidates from a very wide range of backgrounds – with varying life experiences. The role offers people a real chance to make a difference to life in the Park as well as to grow as an individual. I know I have learnt so much from being involved.

There might be a misconception that Boards are just for retired old men! Nothing could be further from the truth. The most effective organisations are those with a wide variety of life experiences, backgrounds, personalities and ideas that combine in setting the strategic direction. The Park Board champions equality and was one of the first public Boards to meet the Governments target of 50% women members and made history by electing the youngest ever National Park Chair.

How else can we tackle the critical issues that relate to the nature, people and places of the Cairngorms National Park – and address the climate and nature emergencies – if we don’t have that wide range of people?

We will be hosting an online information session in January for those who would like to find out more about what the role entails and ask questions of current Board members. We do hope you can join us.