National parks - challenge exercise: summary analysis
Summary analysis of contributions made to the 'Future for National Parks in Scotland' challenge exercise, May to June 2022, on our public dialogue platform www.ideas.gov.scot.
It is around 20 years since Scotland's first National Parks, in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and Cairngorms, were established. Both National Parks are home to some of Scotland's most outstanding scenery, are internationally important areas for nature and receive millions of visitors each year. The Parks work closely with their communities, land managers, local businesses, third sector and individuals to tackle the biodiversity and climate crisis, to help manage facilities for visitors, to promote responsible access, develop sustainable communities and ensure sustainable development.
The Scottish Government's 'A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22' contains a commitment to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland by Spring 2026.
To be able to do this in an open and transparent manner, we need to be able to assess any area which is put forward for designation against a set of agreed expectations for what National Parks will deliver for Scotland going forward.
To assist with this, a 'Challenge' exercise was created on the Scottish Government's public dialogue platform (www.ideas.gov.scot). This platform allows users to participate in debates and discussions about areas of government policy and challenges facing Scotland.
The 'Future for National Parks in Scotland' challenge sought views on what National Parks should be delivering for Scotland and the people who live and work within them. Whilst the challenge did not aim to seek views on the location of new National Parks, it did seek views on the criteria that are necessary to selection the next National Parks in Scotland. The following questions were raised:
1. What do you value most about Scotland's National Parks?
2. How can National Parks help the environment?
3. How can we better manage visitor pressures in National Parks?
4. What criteria should we use to decide where the next new National Parks in Scotland should be?
The challenge was open for ideas and comments between 16 May and 6 June 2022.
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