More than 500 public responses received over summer months from informal consultation phase.
92% of respondents recognise need for individuals, communities, and businesses to take action to tackle climate change.
56% of respondents feel the economy in the Park will recover quickly post-Covid-19.
89% of respondents agree that local communities have an important part to play in shaping the future of the Cairngorms National Park.
Public comments welcomed on the newly published draft Plan, with the consultation running until December.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has launched the formal consultation phase for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan. The draft plan draws on extensive public feedback received since June and sets out how all those with a responsibility for the National Park will co-ordinate their work to tackle the most important issues, setting a framework for all the public bodies delivering relevant functions in the Cairngorms National Park. This will be the fourth Partnership Plan since the National Park was established in 2003.
Over the summer, the CNPA gave people the opportunity to help shape a draft Partnership Plan. Anyone with an interest was able to take part in answering a series of questions, including via a dedicated Cairngorms Views website and by using interactive mapping tools, where participants could ‘drop a pin’ where they considered an issue needed addressing and leave comments.
More than 500 responses were gathered, highlighting the public’s views on a range of topics critical to the future of the Cairngorms National Park. Key themes included tackling the climate emergency, improved public transport and walking / 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. A remarkable 92% of respondents said it was either important or very important that action was taken to tackle climate change, whilst 89% agreed or strongly agreed that local communities have an important part to play in shaping the future of the Cairngorms National Park. Around half of respondents (48%) were optimistic about the future, with just over a quarter (27%) pessimistic.
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 and has been shaped not just by public sector and third sector partners, but by local businesses and the people who live and work here.
“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.”
The Scottish Government’s Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity Lorna Slater said: “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 for the fourth Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan has started and will run for 12 weeks to the 17 December 2021. Responses will be gathered through a number of different physical events and digital platforms including the dedicated Cairngorms Views website and interactive mapping tools. Following that, a consultation report will 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 find out more and to give your views, please visit: https://cairngormsviews.commonplace.is