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Young people to influence Park’s future

19th June 2006

Young people in the Cairngorms National Park are being asked to make their viewpoint known on the future of the National Park at a series of events this week.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has organised the events in Ballater, Nethybridge and at the Lecht Ski Centre to gather young people’s opinions on the issues most important to them in relation to the Draft National Park Plan, which is out for consultation until the end of June.

The Draft National Park Plan sets out the long term vision – 25 years – for the Park as a whole as well as the key priorities for the first five years of the Plan, from 2007 to 2012. The Priorities for Action range from conserving and enhancing the Park’s biodiversity and landscapes to improving opportunities for outdoor access.

Pupils from Aboyne Academy, Alford Academy, Websters High School and Brechin High School will be heading for the Albert Hall in Ballater tomorrow (Tuesday 20 June) while Speyside High School, Grantown Grammar and Kingussie High School pupils will be in Nethybridge on Wednesday 21 June. These two events are open to school pupils only.

However, the third event at the Lecht on Saturday 24 June is open to anyone aged 16 – 25 years. In exchange for taking part in the seminar and making their views known on the future of the Park, participants will be given the opportunity to sample some of the Lecht Ski Centre’s activities for free including devil carts, quad bikes and fun carts.

Free transport to and from the Lecht Ski Centre on Saturday has been organised, or a mileage allowance can be claimed, and lunch will also be provided.

Social Inclusion Policy Officer at the CNPA, Elspeth Grant said: “We’ve got people working with us on these events who are experts in getting young people to open up and put across their views, so we hope to get some really good feedback from those taking part.  We know already, for example, that transport is an issue for young people in the Park, which is one of the reasons we have organised free transport to the Lecht on Saturday!

“We would especially encourage anyone in the 16-25 age group to come along to the Lecht on Saturday and find out more about the Draft National Park Plan and share with us their hopes and concerns, especially if they think their future lies in the Park.”

For more information or to book at place at the event on Saturday at the Lecht please contact Elspeth Grant on tel: 01479 870506 or email: [email protected]