Galloway would be the obvious choice to establish our next National Park. It is very accessible, has a lot of variety in terms of natural habitat and beautiful landscapes. It is also one of the few dark sky designated parts of the country.

Why the contribution is important

Each National park should be able to offer their own unique experience to visitors. We live in a beautiful country where the landscape changes quite dramatically in all four corners. So it's with this in mind that I believe Galloway would be a wonderful National park. Different and unique from the already established Loch Lomond and the Cairngorms national parks.

by maplewood81 on May 23, 2022 at 03:50PM

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Average rating: 3.7
Based on: 17 votes


  • Posted by gordonhodge May 23, 2022 at 21:38

    As stated elsewhere I simply reiterate that the essence of the character of the Galloway Hills is that it is largely a pathless wilderness. A wilderness that helps support its biodiversity. Some of which is rare and endangered. This inaccessibility is fundamental in my opinion to maintaining this. In view of which I urge that the Galloway Hills should not be designated a National Park.
  • Posted by Tordy May 24, 2022 at 08:24

    Galloway represents beautiful countryside, dramatic coastline, fabulous wildlife, wonderful walks, and beautiful breathtaking scenery, mixed with a distinctive warm & friendly culture. The variation it offers is amazing and by comparison to the other two national parks, relatively undiscovered. Once visited, the argument for it to be Scotland's 3rd National Park speaks for itself.
  • Posted by marzak May 24, 2022 at 13:03

    Galloway is relatively accessible and adjoins areas of coastline some of which are stunning and important for bird and cetacean life. Despite a previous comment, it is not pathless and there are many areas dedicated to outdoor activities including gravel biking, water sports and trail running/walking. Becoming a national park would put more focus on the landscape and built heritage and would provide opportunity to put resources into renovating and recycling unoccupied buildings, repairing dykes and paths and restoring mixed woodland forestry. The towns and villages around Galloway are not generally wealthy in the present day and the economic return from tourism would be of great benefit. If there were more focus on modern public transport within, and to and from, Galloway that would also be of great benefit. The area also has the potential to generate more clean electricity from technology other than wind turbines which would be welcomed.
  • Posted by McNay May 24, 2022 at 13:43

    Why would you want to subject this beautiful, relatively undiscovered countryside to the ravages of mass tourism, with its emphasis on car parks, cafes and toilets? People who live and work locally will be priced out of housing, job opportunities are reduced to the low waged service sector type and planning is taken out of the hands of the local department. Local farmers are worried about the potential for additional bureaucracy and impacts on their livelihood. What makes the area attractive is destroyed in the process. I fail to understand the rationale behind a National Park designation.
  • Posted by Glenmoy May 24, 2022 at 18:35

    This is an excellent choice as it would bring attention and appreciation to a less known area of the country. This would boost the local economy and hopefullly encourage other initiatives in relation to protecting the environment and improving biodiversity etc. I can appreciate some other people's concerns, such as "it's empty now so leave it alone", but that's hardly doing the north highlands any favours.
  • Posted by Prentice May 25, 2022 at 11:57

    Agree, with stated above, Galloway would be a great choice
  • Posted by gordonhodge May 25, 2022 at 21:47

    In view of my previous comments I support that posted by McNay of 24th May. The Galloway Hills are one of the few remaining true wildernesses left in Scotland. Hopefully they will remain so by not being designated as a National Park. Present designations clearly demonstrate in my opinion that such a designation would be alien to the fundamental character of the Galloway Hills. It is also in my experience very doubtful if the supposed economic benefits of such a designation will accrue to any material extent in practice.
  • Posted by WoodlandCroftsPartnership May 27, 2022 at 18:30

    We do not comment either in favour or against Galloway as a new National Park. We note however that Galloway has been subject to a great expansion of investment forestry in recent years which has not always been to the benefit of local communities. While National Park status would bring benefits it would also bring further, different pressures Accordingly, we propose that *should* Galloway be chosen for a National Park, crofting should be introduced within the Park's boundaries. This would help address many of the pressures alluded to above and in particular would allow the creation of woodland crofts. These would be a way to integrate woodland expansion and management with retaining population on the land. See also our comment posted on the main page - 'Introduction of crofting to any new National Park'.
  • Posted by malcolmrdickson May 28, 2022 at 13:18

    I agree that Galloway is a worthy candidate, but no more so than the Scottish Borders which has the added benefit of a very strong link between its landscapes and its historic and cultural heritage (see my comment on NP Criteria idea).
  • Posted by GallowayHoopoe May 31, 2022 at 08:48

    Galloway is a large and resilient area. It is very unlikely to suffer from the extreme visitor pressures felt in some other Parks because of its location, infrastructure and size. To argue for leaving it alone is to misunderstand the pressures on this fragile and poor area. It’s very unlikely to remain the same and already has embedded problems such as low wages, loss of young people, erosion of biodiversity and natural beauty (particularly inland) and an aging population. Its designation would complement the two existing Parks in Scotland with its beautiful hills and extensive maritime and estuarine coastline.
  • Posted by camusfearna May 31, 2022 at 11:01

    Arguably, one of the areas that least requires to be considered for a new national park is the south of Scotland, given that it has recently (April 2020) been provided with a new dedicated enterprise organisation - South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) - as the economic and community development agency for D&G and Scottish Borders. It was established in recognition of the unique circumstances of the South of Scotland and the need for a fresh approach to drive inclusive growth across the area. A criteria therefore should be whether there already exists a dedicated economic and community organisation focused on the area in question. Further, the D&G and Scottish Borders already have in place a number of designated and protected areas for landscape and nature. A National Park in the south of Scotland would add an expensive and unnecessary additional layer of bureaucracy, complicate development planning arrangements and risk interfering with the delivery by SOSE for the region.
  • Posted by puppet June 03, 2022 at 09:23

    We must ensure there is infrastructure for increased tourism. There is already a severe shortage of housing for locals which limits economic development. Most will visit by car so more toilets, car parks and improved roads needed. Most of the proposed area is not wilderness but home and work to thousands of people who need to be respected
  • Posted by ihl June 03, 2022 at 22:50

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by ihl June 03, 2022 at 22:52

    I live in Galloway and do not feel it is an appropriate location for a National Park. The area is *relatively* quiet but is already seeing a significant increase in tourism, particularly during and after covid. Many people here would not wish to see the area inundated with thousands and thousands more visitors and become another Lake District or Loch Lomond & Trossachs or Cairngorms. Do we wish to see the countryside here spoilt by so many more visitors?. There are already major problems in other Scottish National Parks with too many visitors. Camping banned from Loch Lomond, major problems at Loch Morlich and sites on Deeside. Up there road at Loch Doon in south Ayrshire, the same problems are occurring. Some will argue in favour of the boost to the local economy. Tourists will only benefit those serving the tourist industry but not the rest of us. We are already seeing house prices increasing here to the point of being unaffordable to locals. In our village of less than 20 houses, 3 are now holiday homes or AirBnB. The last 2 houses sold recently well above the asking price. One is now a holiday home, the other a holiday let. There are some who argue National Park status will benefit the locals and stop young people leaving the area. I doubt it, and where will they be able to afford to live. Tourism related jobs are not going to be well paid and many are seasonal. Galloway already has organisations and structures in place to support some tourism and local enterprise such as Galloway Forest Park, 7 Stanes, Dark Sky, Biosphere etc. There s no need for another layer of bureaucracy and no need for a National Park here.
  • Posted by stubizz June 05, 2022 at 11:05

    There's a need to protect natural beauty and wildlife while opening it up for education and recreation, and a need for rural regeneration following a long period of economic decline and deprivation (as in the case of SW Scotland). My own observation after living 12 years on Dartmoor is that the towns surrounding the National Park prosper. In Galloway it would mean that Dumfries, Thornhill, Newton Stewart, Stranraer, Girvan, Maybole, Dalmellington and Sanquhar would all benefit. Whether Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie and Kirkcudbright should be constrained within the NP boundary or outside it and free to expand and develop in the normal way is a matter for careful discussion.
  • Posted by AndrewPym June 05, 2022 at 21:31

    Unless the criteria change, all areas have to be assessed by reference to the existing rules. Galloway has a great heritage and a coherent identity. Whilst parts of the Ancient Kingdom have changed significantly, the major part would meet the criteria. The Galloway National Park Association looked at this in great detail, involving supporters who have been involved with National Parks for many years, including the designation of Scotland’s existing parks. The case for designating Galloway is to put it on the map with a national and international designation which highlights it as a place with many special qualities – both natural and cultural. The most important issue locally is to address the social and economic needs of everyone in the area. It is a very low wage economy, with limited opportunities for employment. The majority of young people leave the area for work. The average age of the declining population is going inexorably up. The area needs a dynamic economy to meet the needs of existing people and to attract new people to live and work.
  • Posted by camusfearna June 06, 2022 at 00:22

    I agree with ihl that Galloway already has organisations and structures in place to support tourism and local enterprise such as Galloway Forest Park, 7 Stanes, Dark Sky, Biosphere etc plus it has a local authority and SOSE; and that there is no need for another layer of bureaucracy and no need for a National Park.
  • Posted by PaulTarling June 06, 2022 at 10:44

    I support the potential that Galloway can offer by being a national park with increased infrastructure to accommodate the already increased tourist trade to the area. The economics of the area was severally impacted during covid with motorhome numbers considerably increased and this year increase has been maintained and is only likely to increase. The Council is running at a considerable deficit and can ill afford new infrastructure to keep the highly impacted sites and roads across D&G maintained which is a cost to services for local council tax payers. A national park with potential for monies to create new infrastructure and maintenance through a provisioned ranger service would both increase tourist expectation and local livelihoods. When you consider available potential work in the area, Forestry employment has reduced and is highly mobile within the south of Scotland, Farming is more and more mechanised and although recent events have shown that the country will need to be more and more self sustaining. Which leaves tourism, The increases in energy prices not only affects those of us living and working in this wonderful part of the country it affects the local tourist industry. I at one time frequented local Cafés but since the new year It has become increasingly more costly and I have had to limit my expenditure. I do not blame the owners as they have to pay there employees as well as the increase in provisions and energy and make a living. One could argue that once the issues in Ukraine are resolved things will return to normal but I am afraid the new normal could well be more austere. So I personally feel that a Galloway National Park is the best option for tourism and the local services.
  • Posted by DameKelly June 06, 2022 at 11:31

    Having been part of the Galloway Park Association from the beginning, I believe that we were much helped by the fact that the Local Authorities and all our MSPs were behind us from day one and continue to support us today. We have gathered significant local support as we considered the issues in great detail , holding a over 100 public meetings from Dalbeattie to Dalry, Dromore to Dalmellington, many with Community Councils. We carried out a survey and over 80% of the respondents were in favour of a Galloway National Park. Our campaign has been much helped through the conversations we have had with the UNESCO Biosphere from the start. There can be no doubt that having that designation demonstrates the high quality of the environment but we must recognise that National Park status addresses the social and economic needs of local people, and local businesses. The designation is well understood as an area of the highest quality and allows people to know that there is much to see and enjoy in an open rural environment.
  • Posted by Barrview June 06, 2022 at 12:22

    Some of these comments seem to be to be based on a misunderstanding of what Scottish National parks are for. They are very different from the United States version where it is about mangling a wilderness. The Act requires Scottish National Parks in addition to caring for the environment and access to the countryside to "(d)to promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities" This clause is not in the English legislation and reflects the wish to see NP act as ways of ensuring that rural development is encouraged but in a way that respects the environment. What that does is places communities at the heart of the Parks mission. I note also the silly idea that if you have an Enterprise Agency then you do not need a national park - well that is an argument for no national parks in Scotland. Just because at long last a new agency has been set up to replace SE in the South and with a focus on rural areas that is no reason to argue that you cannot also have a NP.
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