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Public views sought as formal consultation launched for fourth Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan

By Lorna Thompson

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THE Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has launched the formal consultation phase for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan.

This will be the fourth partnership plan since the national park was established back in 2003.

Over the summer, the CNPA asked the public to help shape its draft partnership plan. More than 500 responses were gathered, highlighting the public’s views on a range of topics critical to the future of the park.

The draft plan sets out how all those with a responsibility for the Cairngorms National Park will co-ordinate their efforts to tackle the most pressing issues.

Key themes include tackling the climate emergency, improved public transport and walking and cycling routes, affordable housing, looking after the needs of the local workforce, tree planting and peatland restoration, and managing the impacts of increasing visitor numbers.

Xander McDade, convener of the CNPA board, said: "We’re very pleased with the great response we’ve had so far and I would like to thank all those who have already responded their thoughts to help shape the draft plan.

"There has been a wide range of opinions expressed, but there have also been a number of recurring themes such as affordable housing, better transport and improving conservation within the park to help combat our biodiversity crisis.

"I feel that the draft national park partnership plan is probably our most ambitious to date. It has been shaped not just by public sector and third-sector partners, but by local businesses and the people who live and work here.

People are being urged to make their voices heard as formal consultation begins for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan.
People are being urged to make their voices heard as formal consultation begins for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan.

"It is vitally important that everyone who calls the national park home, or enjoys the Cairngorms for recreation or works here, gets involved in this consultation so that it reflects the future we all aspire to and is truly a Park for All."

Scottish Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity Lorna Slater added: "Urgent action is needed to tackle the climate and nature crisis. We must work together – individuals, communities, and businesses – to deliver transformative change.

"National parks are a vital part of this effort.

"I urge all who care about the people, communities and natural environment of the Cairngorms National Park to share their voices through the channels offered within the this public consultation to shape a meaningful plan for the future of the park."

The formal consultation process started on Thursday, September 23, and will run for 12 weeks until December 17.

Responses will be gathered through a number of different physical events and digital platforms, including the dedicated Cairngorms Views website and interactive mapping tools.

A consultation report will then be produced in the New Year that sets out all the key feedback, which will inform any changes to the plan before it is approved by the Park Authority Board and submitted to Scottish ministers in June 2022 for final sign-off.

To give your views, visit https://cairngormsviews.commonplace.is.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

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