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Time running out for say on important Cairngorms National Park blueprint

By Gavin Musgrove

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It’s less than one month now until the deadline for responses for the consultation on the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan (NPPP).

Everyone yet to respond so far is being encouraged to make their views known on what is considered the most crucial blueprint to date.

Cairngorms National Park Authority bosses have said the response since the consultation opened in September has been strong with over 400 comments received so far.

Issues relating to nature and the environment have attracted a particularly high response rate but the CNPA is also keen to hear views on other issues as well such as transport, housing and tourism.

Grant Moir, chief executive of the Cairngorms National Park, is urging public to respond before the deadline next month. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Grant Moir, chief executive of the Cairngorms National Park, is urging public to respond before the deadline next month. Picture: Callum Mackay.

“The need to act at pace and scale on the climate and nature crisis is clearer than ever and of course, when the previous NPPP was launched back in 2017, no-one knew what Covid-19 was,” said Grant Moir, CNPA chief executive.

“So much has changed in the last five years, so our next National Park Partnership Plan needs to be ambitious and robust to address the many issues we face.

“The draft Park Plan that is currently out for consultation represents the most ambitious set of targets and actions we’ve ever considered but does it capture all the priorities for the park?

"We are delighted to have received over 400 responses with a particular emphasis on the Nature section of our draft plan. However, there are other elements we need respondents to focus on particularly around People and Place.

“We want to hear what people have to say about supporting jobs for young people, greater community empowerment, health and wellbeing – both of residents and visitors – as well as the local economy, diversification, skills and training.

"We need everyone with an interest to log onto the consultation website or get in touch and share their views with us.”

The draft Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan draws on extensive public feedback received over the summer and sets out how all those with a responsibility for the National Park will co-ordinate their work to tackle the most important issues.

It sets a framework for all the public bodies delivering relevant functions in the strath and wider Cairngorms National Park. This will be the fourth such plan since the national park was established in 2003.

In the build up to the formal consultation on the NPPP more than 500 responses were gathered to help shape the draft Plan including 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 better walking and cycling routes; affordable housing; looking after the needs of the local workforce; woodland expansion and peatland restoration; and managing the impacts of increasing visitor numbers.

The formal consultation on the draft NPPP runs until December 17.

Responses are being 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.

This will inform any changes to the plan before it is considered for approval by the CNPA board and submitted to Scottish Ministers next June for final sign-off.

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