/ National Parks in Scotland

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isi_o - on 18 Aug 2013
I was reading the other day about the proposal there had been for a 3rd national park in Scotland, on Harris. It started me thinking about whether that would be a good thing or not, and what they actually mean for us as mountaineers/ climbers/ walkers/ bikers etc.
I'm inclined to think that on the whole the existing ones do a reasonable job of managing the resources they have, developing them and maintaining the tricky balance between conservation and development. On the whole anyway - there is a part of me that feels that Lomond in particular goes a little too far down the commercial route. But perhaps this keeps commercialisation creeping so much into other mountain areas?
For Harris, I suspect that NP status would have been a pretty big economic benefit... But perhaps at the expense of other areas, like the Uists, Barra etc? It didn't go through to Scottish Parliament in the end because the council here wouldn't endorse it until the govt had looked at it, and the govt wouldn't look at it until the council endorsed it (sigh)...
What do you lot think? Are they a good thing? An exercise in power for the Scottish Govt which was newly-formed at the time and not much more than that? Over-commercialised? Well-managed? I'm intrigued.
Isi
IainRUK - on 18 Aug 2013
In reply to isi_o: I thought someone on here said planning permissions actually increased once the Cairngorms became a NP..
Fat Bumbly2 - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK: The two national parks promote (unintetionaly) the impression that they are the two best bits and the rest of the country is not of the same scenic value and therefore a windfarm h^h^h^ disposable.
isi_o - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
It wouldn't surprise me actually. The remit of the NPs up here is different to the ones in England - they have a duty to promote sustainable development, or words to that effect, so I guess that may mean that actually more takes place than before?
Cuthbert on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to isi_o:

The important difference is to recognise the difference between those parks in England and Wales and those in Scotland which have additional aims. They are not just for conservation and have an additional aim:

The four aims set out in the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 are:


To conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area


To promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area


To promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public


To promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities

They have a very difficult job and finding a balance is often impossible I think.

I presume you are up to speed about the general sensitivity on the Sound of Barra SAC, the hedgehogs in Uist and the impact a national park would have on Harris being a crofting area which neither of the others in Scotland are. There is also the danger of a Harris National Park destroying the cultural heritage which the CairnGorms one is very good at.
isi_o - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
Not really up to speed at all, no - that's why I'm asking the question. Thanks - given me some interesting things to look up :)
Isi
tallsteve - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

"National Park" is a quality mark, and is bound to increase tourist numbers. Labelling areas you want to protect is a bit counter productive, unless the idea is to increase visitor numbers of course ...

Thats it! A light bulb moment - I'll get my back garden registered as a national park, then open a tea room. I'll be minted :)
Cuthbert on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to isi_o:

No worries, where are you in the Islands? As I am sure you have worked out, the vibe is very different to the types involved in mountaineering and "conservation"
Offwidth - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to isi_o: Was the proposed Harris one due to close every Sunday?
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isi_o - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
In Stornoway, although keeping an eye out for somewhere on the west coast... Only moved up here in May, but I like it a lot :) And yes, very different!

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