Scottish Environment LINK and the National Parks
NEMT is a founder member of Scottish Environment LINK, the umbrella body supporting
and representing Scotlands voluntary environment organisations. A number
of LINK member bodies met in September to share misgivings about aspects of
the performance of the Cairngorms National Park Authority [CNPA]. In broad terms,
there are concerns about the following:
- CNPAs apparent prioritisation of economic developments over environmental
protection. In law, where the objectives of Park are in conflict, the greatest
weight must be given to the latter and it appears that this is often not the
- CNPAs seeming reluctance to act as national park. Critics
feel that the Authority often acts as if it were an economic development agency
for local business interests. Whilst it is absolutely right that CNPA supports
sustainable developments, there are concerns that it resists taking a wider
and more balance leadership role. There is a need for interested voices from
outside the Park to be heard more clearly.
- Proposals to develop a new town [An Camas Mor] on the other side of the
Spey next to Aviemore. Critics consider that this is environmentally damaging
and is not, in fact, needed. (Fuller details are provided here).
The outcome of this September meeting was the establishment of a LINK National
Parks Task Force to address issues related to both the existing parks
and possible proposals for future designations. NEMT is a member of this Task
Force and supports its work.
Representatives of the voluntary organisations involved are meeting with a
group of Park Board members and employees in November to air concerns.
NEMT will be pressing the Park particularly regarding three themes:
- Hill Tracks.
- Behaviour of some grouse moor estates, particularly in the Angus area, whose
policies are creating biodiversity deserts.
- How the wildness strategy adopted by the Park (described below)
will be implemented in practice.
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