The first granite markers showing that Highland Perthshire and Glenshee are now indeed part of the UK’s largest National Park are in place.
Four granite boulders displaying the ‘osprey’ image have been installed on smaller roads into the Cairngorms National Park in Perthshire including on the B8079 road at the National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre at Killiecrankie – more than 2,000 cars pass this spot per day during the summer. Work is well underway to install the large granite markers on the A9 and on the A93 but this work has been delayed due to the very festive weather conditions! Signage at Blair Atholl railway station should be in place early in the New Year.
It was back in October when John Swinney – Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and constituency MSP for North Tayside – officially announced the expansion of the Cairngorms National Park to include Highland Perthshire and Glenshee increasing the size of the Park from 3,800 sq km to 4,528 sq km with the population going from 16,000 to more than 17,000.
In a further move, welcoming the area and its residents into the Cairngorms National Park, the Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), David Green attended a meeting of Perth and Kinross Council earlier this week (Wednesday 15 December) where he outlined the potential benefits of National Park status and repeated his delight at the inclusion of Highland Perthshire and Glenshee in the Park.
He said: “National Park status certainly brings benefits to an area. A recent report highlighting the economy of the Cairngorms National Park has shown that despite the recession, the Park’s economic and social health has remained strong and I am sure this will be the case for Highland Perthshire and Glenshee. It’s a great area with a rich natural and cultural heritage along with 10 new Munros – it’s truly a great addition to the Cairngorms National Park.
“We have obviously been working closely with Perth & Kinross Council, community groups and other organisations in the area in the lead up to the extension and we value the contribution they will all make to achieving the aims of the Park and delivering the actions in the National Park Plan as we move forward.”
Cllr Ian Miller, leader of Perth & Kinross Council added: “The Cairngorms National Park Authority has worked very closely with Perth & Kinross Council during the consultation period and implementation of the new National Park boundaries. The Authority has given us a very warm welcome into the Cairngorms National Park area, and I would like to thank them for that.
“As a Council we look forward to working closely with the Park Authority in improving the future viability and prospects of the areas of Highland Perthshire which are now part of the National Park.”
Finally, the Cairngorms Business Partnership has extended its coverage of two of its visitor publications to cover the bigger park with the winter edition of Park Life – a guide to the National Park – and What’s On, a monthly events listing, to include the new area. Work is also progressing on having all new visitor information updated and this should be completed by spring 2011.