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Five-year plan for running of Cairngorms National Park tweaked in line with public feedback

Loch Morlich
Loch Morlich is a popular spot in the national park. Picture by Sandy McCook

A new version of the Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan has been drafted following a public consultation.

The public were asked to share their opinions on the plan, which sets out the aims and objectives of the Cairngorms National Park Authority for the next five years, late last year.

More than 1,400 people responded, which is five-times more than in previous years.

Respondents included more than 700 locals and representatives from businesses and community groups operating within the national park.

A number of changes have been made to the draft plan as a result. They will be reviewed by the board on June 10 before being submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.

The following areas of the plan have been amended:

Nature

Respondents to the survey asked that the plan be amended to be more ambitious and targeted in tackling the climate crisis, the nature crisis, species conservation and wildlife crime.

Specific actions have been added to do this, including targeted support for species including beaver and capercaillie.

Capercaillie are a huge kind of grouse that live in pinewoods and conifer plantations.

Strong views were shared surrounding moorland management and as a result, the important roles of moorland managers have been recognised.

It was also added that green investment “must deliver long-term benefits and be in the public interest”.

People

Those living and working in the national park asked for a number of changes to be made to the draft plan to better reflect the changes they want to see.

These included training opportunities to go along with the growing number of green jobs, more explicit support for under-represented groups and a better description of the benefits of community ownership.

It has also been noted that locals would like to see the diverse cultural history of the area highlighted more through the use of Gaelic, Scots and Doric.

Cairngorm National Park sign
Cairngorms National Park marker stone.

Place

Affordable housing and controls on second homes and short-term lets was seen as the number one priority by the majority of respondents.

Residents wanted to see improvements made to public transport, active travel links and infrastructure for visitors including public toilets.

To diversify the area’s economy, the new draft plan also includes a commitment to encourage and support businesses to use nature-based solutions.

New plan is ‘most ambitious ever’

Xander McDade, board convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said the redrafted plan is the most ambitious the board has ever put forward for approval.

cairngorms
The Lairig Ghru is one of the mountains passes through the Cairngorms of Scotland.

He said: “The park authority board has been delighted with both the volume and quality of responses to our fourth National Park Partnership Plan, and it is encouraging to see the final draft addressing specific comments from residents, local businesses, land managers, partners and many other groups.

“I believe that this draft plan is the most ambitious ever written but, crucially, it is also achievable, helping harness the energy and participation of park residents, visitors and organisations operating in the national park over the next five years.”

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