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Consultation on National Park plan

Wednesday 12th April 2017, 12:16pm

The public are being asked to have their say on a plan setting out key environmental priorities within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park for the next five years.

The draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 sets out a vision for how the Park Authority and its partners will work together to further develop the many benefits the National Park can offer Scotland’s environment, society, culture and economy.

Conservation and land management is one of the three key themes, with priorities including:

  • Restoring and better connecting important habitats on a landscape scale
  • Enhancing the National Park’s special landscape with more opportunities for people to enjoy and experience them
  • Improving management of the natural environment to address the impacts of climate change
  • Facilitating better integrated management of land and water environments to provide more benefits for people and nature

A 12-week consultation on the draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 began on 10th April and runs until Monday 3 July.

James Stuart, Convener of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “The National Park is a truly special place and this plan proposes how we along with a wide range of other organisations, can work together over the next five years to look after, enhance and make the most of it. By working collaboratively with all of our partners we can achieve a much greater impact.

“The focus is on big priorities for action that are most likely to make a lasting difference to the area, its communities, the people who visit and to the Scottish economy.

 “This is an exciting time for the National Park and we want people to get involved in planning the future of the area by telling us what they think of the vision set out in this draft plan.”

The priorities set out in the Partnership Plan have been developed to tackle significant threats to the natural environment of the Park such as marine pollution, unsustainable levels of grazing, the spread of invasive non-native species and the impacts of climate change.

Simon Jones, Director of Conservation and Visitor Operations, said: “The National Park is home to some of the most iconic wildlife and landscapes found in Scotland and draws visitors from across the globe. However, there are significant threats facing this natural environment. Our aim in setting these priorities is to work together with our partners to overcome these threats and improve ecosystems to create a more sustainable long term future for both people and nature within the National Park.”

The plan builds on partnership work which is already tackling some of these issues. For example, the Strathard Ecosystems Services Project aims to identify land management solutions in Strathard that will reduce flood risk in and around Aberfoyle. This project brings together Forest Enterprise Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Stirling Council and the Community Partnership.

To read the draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 and respond to the consultation go to www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/consultations

Mountaineering Scotland will be making a full response in due course.

Gill Walker (National Park Ranger), Andy Biddulph (Modern Apprentice), Ben Anderson (Modern Apprentice at Callander Youth Project), Jamie Proudfoot (Senior Youth worker at CYP).