Next steps for national parks in Scotland
Call for expressions of interest from local areas.
Communities across Scotland are being asked to consider whether their local area could be designated as the country’s newest national park.
Individuals, groups or organisations considering making a proposal can now register early interest.
Nominations will officially open later this year, once the appraisal framework has been finalised. The government has committed to designating at least one new national park in Scotland by Spring 2026.
Visiting Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity Lorna Slater said:
“I look forward to engaging with communities and learning more about their proposals, and I encourage everyone to get involved as we move closer to naming Scotland’s next national park.
“Our existing national parks play an important role in tackling the biodiversity and climate crises, whilst also supporting local communities, businesses and visitors.
“Last year we consulted widely on the future of national parks in Scotland, and there was broad support for our commitment to create at least one new park by 2026.”
Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority Gordon Watson said:
“National Parks have a vital role to play in securing a more sustainable future for Scotland. They are unique places where we can maximise the benefits that can be provided for nature, climate and people.
“Scotland has set ambitious targets to reach Net Zero and to restore biodiversity by 2045.
“If we are to reach those targets, urgent, bold action is required and Scotland’s existing - and any new - National Parks can make a substantial contribution.
“Through scaling up our efforts to lock-in carbon in the landscape, restore nature at scale and enable a greener low-emission economy, we can, together, help Scotland make significant progress towards these commitments.”
Registers of interest should be submitted by email to: NationalParks@gov.scot
A draft appraisal framework with broad selection criteria for new national parks has also been published for consultation.
- New National Parks in Scotland: Appraisal Framework: Consultation Paper: https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781805258391
- New National Parks in Scotland: Nomination process and draft appraisal framework: https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781805258384
The Scottish Government is already aware of several communities or groups that are interested in putting their area forward for national park status. Our appraisal framework will help to ensure the nomination process is fair, transparent and inclusive.
Registration will open from 11 May 2023. There is no requirement to register interest in order to submit a nomination. Nor does registration commit a group or organisation to submitting a nomination.
Registration will allow the Scottish Government to update interested parties with any important information, key dates and communications throughout the process.
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