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Public consultation helps to form new draft plan for Cairngorms National Park

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Public consultation helps to form new draft plan for Cairngorms National Park

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Police Scotland

The Cairngorms National Park Authority have published a final draft of the National Park Partnership Plan, incorporating a range of suggestions from members of the public and partner organisations.

The new draft draws upon feedback from more than 1400 people who took part in the formal consultation, which ran from September 23 to December 17 last year.

The plan will now be reviewed by the Park Authority board on June 10, before being submitted to Scottish Government for approval over the coming weeks.

Of the responses received to the formal public consultation, more than half came from people living or working within the National Park, with a range of businesses, community groups, land managers and environmental NGOs also represented.

Over two thirds of respondents supported the draft plan’s outcomes and objectives across the three themes of nature, people and place, however, there were a number of areas which respondents were keen for the Park Authority to review.

Whilst there was a good level of support for this section of the original draft, a number of changes have been proposed based on respondent feedback, such as being more ambitious and targeted in tackling both the climate and nature crises – the Park Authority is working with independent experts Small World Consulting to establish firm targets for reaching both a net zero and carbon negative position. The suggested target for peatland restoration has also been increased from 35,000 ha to a minimum of 38,000 ha following a detailed mapping exercise (a nine per cent increase).

The need for more targeted action on species conservation and wildlife crime was highlighted, with specific actions added on tackling wildlife crime, as well as targeted support for species including beaver and capercaillie.

Another aspects of the Nature theme was ensuring private finance delivers public benefit – the final draft suggests that green investment ‘must deliver long-term benefits and be in the public interest, shared between the owner and local communities.’

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