How National Parks can help the environment

National Parks can promote and support environmentally friendly schemes that reduce carbon consumption without creating an industrial landscape (eg micro-hydro schemes, farm-scale wind turbines, community bio-mass energy production). It may be that some valuable aspects of rural life in a proposed area are being or might be subject to threat because of lack of protection and sustainability. In these circumstances a National Park can help protection, promotion and so sustainment of rural ways of life, eg by: • assisting and coordinating agricultural businesses, if requested, in maximising the impact of public money for public good and environmental stewardship (there is evidence that, in the UK, farmers who farm within National Parks receive proportionately greater shares of such subsidies than those who farm outside NP boundaries). • promoting and supporting the training of young working age residents in rural trades and crafts • working with landowners to support and benefit from such training • encouraging civic festival organisers to use their annually selected principals to champion locally produced food and drink, traditional industries (in the Scottish Borders, textiles and woollens), and artistic endeavour (in the Scottish Borders there is already an annual film festival, 'Alchemy' for avant grade artists working with moving images, this could be broadened and promoted via a National Park). A National Park could also encourage small business renting out electric bicycles and electric cars for tourists and residents alike.

Why the contribution is important

Scottish Government has indicated that it wants to know how National Parks can help the environment.

by malcolmrdickson on May 23, 2022 at 02:04PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.2
Based on: 7 votes


  • Posted by NicBullivant May 31, 2022 at 11:13

    Good idea - should be within the scope of any existing or new NP and the present legislation.
  • Posted by Johnmuirtrust June 02, 2022 at 09:27

    How can National Parks help the environment? They can • lead the way in exemplary land management for biodiversity and climate change. • let nature have freedom to naturally lock up carbon and boost biodiversity by promoting and delivering land management that creates natural fully functioning ecosystems – regenerating woodlands, natural tree lines, healthy peatlands, self-sustaining water catchments etc. • reduce unnaturally high herbivore densities and move away from intensive monocultures of deer, sheep, grouse or exotic conifers, instead allowing natural diverse ecosystems to develop.
  • Posted by SY June 02, 2022 at 16:19

    The environmental improvement work being undertaken within the existing National Parks has been largely orientated towards habitat conservation, restoration, and enhancement. This extends to the restoration of peatlands, creation of native woodland, cleaner waterways, enhancing the value of natural capital and more. All of these are admirable priorities and directly relevant to the two existing National Parks in Scotland. Scotland is a diverse country and blessed with natural and environmental features that are the envy of many other countries. However, the draw of a National Park and associated dramatic increase in the footfall of visitor numbers can have severe detrimental impacts upon those areas, and the quality of life for those communities and rural businesses who reside within the National Park boundaries. These challenges have been greatly highlighted during the last two years with increased levels of littering, waste, air pollution, destruction of natural features, disturbance to raptor sites and ground nesting birds and their habitats, irresponsible fire raising, and abuse of those who work to protect and conserve the natural environment. The response from the Scottish Government to these challenges has generally been weak and substantial additional investment and support will be required for both the existing and any new National Parks in the future if Scotland’s environmental and conservation aspirations are to be delivered. It should be recognised that the existing moratorium on wind turbines in Scotland’s two National Parks will increasingly make the Scottish Government’s commitment to Net Zero difficult to achieve. Currently, National Parks are outsourcing these responsibilities to areas out with their boundaries, whilst appearing to meet their targets. If this position is to continue, and additionally further extended to at least one new National Park with increased visitor number and associated energy consumption, serious further consideration is required to assess how alternative forms and sources of energy can be delivered and the Net Zero commitment achieved.
  • Posted by croftercowrie June 05, 2022 at 23:52

    It's depressing that these measures aren't regarded as the norm throughout rural Scotland -- why should it take an NP designation to achieve them?
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