Cairngorms National Park

Scottish Executive's draft Designation Order

A View from Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) strongly welcomed the recent progress made by the Scottish Executive towards putting both of the first two Parks in place. However, we wrote to the Executive in August to express a number of concerns about the draft Designation Order for the proposed Cairngorms Park.

After the most extensive consultation ever undertaken by SNH, which cost around £250,000 to organise, we reported to Ministers with recommendations in August 2001. SNH was therefore disappointed that some of the decisions made by Ministers differed substantially from SNH's recommendations (for example, on the proposed boundary) and that the rationale was not fully explained.

SNH expressed concern that the proposed boundary does not enclose all the natural and cultural heritage interests closely associated with the Cairngorms. Neither, given the extensive nature of the landscapes and wildlife of the area, is it large enough to provide for the overall management of the Cairngorms as a National Park. For these reasons, SNH told Ministers that the Cairngorms National Park should cover a larger area than proposed and should include:

At the time of writing this is a matter of hot political debate. You can find out more by looking at the following website links:

SNH response and policy on National Parks:
Transcripts of recent Parliamentary discussions:

Look out for the reports of a further Parliamentary Committee meeting in Kingussie on 11 October when SNH and others will give evidence.

Murray Ferguson, SNH Cairngorms Project Manager

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