Scotland is blessed with some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, from the Highlands’ rugged mountains and glens to the serene lochs and islands of the west coast, yet it holds just two National Parks – Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and Trossachs.
Ariane Burgess, the Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands, has welcomed the news that at least five communities in her region have expressed an interest in joining them.
They are Lochaber, Eilean a’ Cheo (Skye and Raasay), Affric to Alladale, Glen Affric and Loch Awe.
All of them showcase some of our most beautiful and diverse habitats.
Commenting, Ms Burgess said:
“A new national park could help protect and enhance the natural environment, creating a safe haven for a rich diversity of wildlife and plants but they also offer other opportunities, such as supporting sustainable land management practices like conservation grazing, peatland restoration and woodland expansion, which would help mitigate climate change, improve biodiversity and create jobs in rural communities.
“I urge everyone to get involved in the process this year, support the projects in your area and help choose your next national park.
“Your interest, and enthusiasm, really cannot be overstated as it will have a significant bearing on the selection process.
“As we’ve seen in the Cairngorms, National Parks are a living legacy for generations to enjoy as we continue to deliver a greener, happier Scotland.
“For the rural economy this is a massive chance to build a sustainable path to the future.
“As a Scottish Green I am immensely proud that we have been able to make this happen and that in Lorna Slater, it is a Green Minister who is not only delivering, but setting us on course for how a future Scotland can look.”