With the news that Michael Gove has ordered a review of National Parks in England to look at “extending existing sites or creating new sites” the campaign for more National Parks in Scotland becomes ever more important.
Commenting on the announcement, John Thomson, Chair of the Scottish Campaign for National Parks, has pointed out that it underlines just how central National Parks are likely to be to the future of Britain’s rural areas.
“England already has many more National Parks than Scotland (ten in all) and together with its Areas of Outstanding Beauty, which also enjoy considerable attention and resources, they cover almost 25% of its land compared to the mere 7% within our two. This existing gap already puts Scotland’s rural areas at a distinct disadvantage; if it is allowed to increase yet further the implications for them are very worrying indeed”.
John is also a Trustee in the campaign to get National Park status for Galloway and President of Galloway National Park Association Dame Barbara Kelly added.
“ Scotland’s rural areas are facing the prospect of serious and continuing population decline according to recent studies. We believe that a National Park with its extra powers, skills, and resources is an important way of helping to overcome this and to see the Galloway we all love become more vibrant and sustainable. If you want to become involved in the campaign, even if it is just to find out more, then come along to one of the Public Meetings we are holding during June. With eleven different venues there will be one near you”
The Campaign has already met with over 23 different organisations and Community Councils throughout Galloway, South and East Ayrshire and support for the ideas is growing steadily. More information is available on the website, and there is a discussion document setting out some of the key issues for a National Park in Galloway.
The public meetings will all start at 7.00 and will be held
Wed 6 June Kirkcudbright Academy Cochran Hall, St Mary's Wynd
Thurs 7 June Dalmellington Community Centre, 38 Ayr Road,
Mon 11 June Wigtown County Buildings, Wigtown,
Tues 12 June New Galloway, Catstrand,
Wed 13 June Castle Douglas, High School, Dunmuir Rd,
Mon 18 June Stranraer, Ryan Centre, Fairhurst Rd,
Tues 19 June Dalbeattie, Town Hall, High Street
Thurs 21 June Newton Stewart, Douglas Ewart High School,
Fri 22 June Thornhill, Community Centre, East Back Street
Thurs 28 June New Cumnock, Town Hall, 31-33 Castle,
Fri 29 June Girvan, Quay Zone