19 Oct 2021

Support the Cairngorms National Park’s bold new plan for nature

Share your feedback on the Cairngorms National Park’s plan for reviving nature, empowering people and investing in places.

Mark Hamblin scotlandbigpicture - Scot's pine

The Cairngorms National Park Authority is inviting you to have your say on the future of this National Park in a public consultation on its Partnershiup Plan 2022-2027.

If you have ever visited the Park, live there or value it for its wild places, please consider responding to this important consultation. 

National Parks have the potential to ensure the protection and recovery of wild places by upholding their statutory aims and purpose. The Park Authority’s 2022-27 Partnership Plan contains clear targeted actions for the Park Partnership to take over the next five years to protect and enhance nature.

We are delighted to see objectives, with associated actions, for:

  • Peatland restoration. This addresses biodiversity loss and, with a skills shortage in the Park, this is a local job creation opportunity, which is also investment in local communities.
  • Bigger, more natural woodlands, expanding up to a natural treeline. Another welcome and focused action for improving the state of nature in the Park. This won’t change the overall open landscape aspect of the Park, but it will make the Park a more biodiverse place to live in, visit and explore.
  • Sustainable deer numbers across the Park. Current high densities of deer in the Park prevent natural regeneration of native woodland, the recovery of peatlands and the associated benefits from these habitats for a more biodiverse Park.
  • Engaging with people across the National Park through formal and informal education (this includes a target of increasing the numbers of John Muir Awards undertaken in the Park), increasing the number of volunteer days spent caring for the National Park, and ensuring that young people have a significant role in helping to manage the National Park.

These actions, plus others in the plan, will all add up to a wilder Park. Their inclusion in the Plan also shows a respect and recognition of the Park’s wild places as its biggest asset, something worth investing in and not detracting from.

In addition to the nature objectives, we also fully support the people-themed and place-themed objectives to develop a wellbeing economy, invest in jobs, training and skills of people who live and work in the Park, to increase the area of land in the National Park that is in community ownership, to manage visitor numbers sustainably and work with communities to ensure that the majority of land allocated for development is controlled by communities or public bodies.

As a formal partner of the Park Authority since 2003 through our John Muir Award partnership (nearly 40,000 Awards achieved in the Cairngorms), and in our capacity as a member of Scottish Environment LINK, the Trust joined a pre-consultation call at the end of August 2021 to discuss the content of the draft plan, to listen and share feedback. Now at formal public consultation stage, it’s important that the Park Authority hears whether you support its Partnership Plan’s objectives to recover nature whilst investing in the local economy.

Green star moss - David Lintern

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