/ National Parks in Scotland
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.
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?
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.
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 :)
"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 :)
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"
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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