New plans to boost Scotland’s two national parks have been launched.
Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead set out the new five-year plans for the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and Trossachs national parks at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. He said: “Scotland’s National Parks are two of our most spectacular assets.
“By having plans for the next five years, we can build on the success of the parks to date and continue to deliver outstanding attractions with magnificent scenery and lots of different wildlife for visitors to explore. “The Parks are places to inspire and enjoy, and are key contributors to the quality of our national tourism, economy and environment. “Through investing in the parks we will ensure they continue to flourish and generate growth in Scotland’s rural economy for years to come. I urge everyone with a part to play to continue to make these special places to live, work and visit, and to make the most of them for all of Scotland.”
Although national parks have been set up across the UK over the last 50 years, the two in Scotland have only been set up since the Scottish Parliament was created. Loch Lomond and Trossachs was set up in 2002 and the Cairngorms a year later.
The previous five year plans ran from 2007 to 2012.
Jane Hope, chief executive of the Cairngorms National Park said they help conserve the countryside, encourage the rural economy and attract greater visitor numbers.
Convener of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Linda McKay said: “The spectacular landscapes and environment of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with, in particular, its magnificent lochside scenery draws millions of visitors every year. “As a ‘special destination’ it will continue to play a vital role in Scotland’s tourism economy and in sustaining our local communities. The Park’s superb natural resources are a source of water and energy for Scotland as well as health and wellbeing for all who access the park.”