Joint National Park (The Southern Uplands)

What about considering a Joint National Park bid between Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders. There is support for a National Park in both of these areas and the South of Scotland is the only area without a National Park not yet designated. This could be the Southern Uplands

Why the contribution is important

Combining two areas would ensure local support is recognised in both areas, whilst also supporting these areas local economy and ensuring that National Parks are 'Spread out' across Scotland allowing greater access to a National Park for individuals and taking pressure off areas where a National Park already exists.

by Prentice on May 25, 2022 at 02:18PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.2
Based on: 4 votes


  • Posted by JeremyHW May 26, 2022 at 08:10

    In a post elsewhere I raised the possibility of establishing more regional parks that have a greater degree of "pure" sustainable managed environment than current natural areas of other designations. i have concerns that the great objective of establishing a new "national park", ambitious and idealistic though it is, will be somewhat unrealistic in terms of the range of wilderness remaining that meats this concept. Would it scan the countryside for what remains fairly wild to find something of the scale of our other two national parks and simply find "what is left over"? This raises the question of whether existing viable natural areas of smaller scale can be better linked to become co-existing parks under new broader management. Prentice's suggestion to me gives us a clue of a potential co-existence between the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway. For this to work there should be physical linkages too, but these could be wildlife corridors and hiking and cycling routes. In other words strategies that link across the harder obstructions of main roads and habitation. Such patchworks under unified management would facilitate many objectives of national parks including identity and marketing.
  • Posted by camusfearna May 27, 2022 at 09:42

    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 McNay May 27, 2022 at 14:13

    I see the “most unpopular planning application ever in Scotland” is back on the table at Balloch in Loch Lomond and Trossachs. The National Park authority will be selling public land (yours and mine) to a private company (Flamingo Land) if planning permission is given. This is the nature of the National Park economic model and I can’t see what benefit it gives to the local area or environment. Yes, put Scottish money into supporting the environment, wildlife, mitigating climate change and encouraging responsible access, but why give it away to tourism developers in the name of a “National Park”.
  • Posted by GallowayHoopoe May 31, 2022 at 08:33

    A Park in Dumfries and Galloway would have a wider range of ambitions than SOSE, particularly regarding environmental public goods. The two in partnership could provide an excellent platform for achieving both the international recognition Galloway’s landscape, natural and cultural heritage deserves and contribute massively to the kick start its economy needs.
  • Posted by camusfearna May 31, 2022 at 10:58

    Just on a factual point of detail, the main land in question at the proposed development at Loch Lomond is owned by Scottish Enterprise, not the national park authority. There will be a range of views on the importance of stimulating sustainable economic growth, including jobs, through tourism developments. It is indisputable, however, that national parks in Scotland are areas where there are communities, landowners, businesses etc and where there is a balance to be struck between protecting the landscape, generating sustainable development etc (as set out in the original legislation). They are not areas which can be managed only for nature and landscape. Even in some of the 'destination' national parks in the US, there is essential tourism infrastructure to support visitors.
  • Posted by malcolmrdickson May 31, 2022 at 13:41

    Prentice, I think there is merit in at least considering this. However, the existing proposals cover areas of some distance apart and the territories in between do not necessarily amount to a coherent area. Transport links between the two proposed areas are poor. I believe that it might be better to look at what could be shared by a Galloway and a Scottish Borders National Park (eg Support Services, training, good practice, staff development opportunities etc), thus cutting the total costs, and also looking at a 'wildlife corridor' between the two areas which would be a first for the UK and provide more protection and growth opportunities for native species. Such a corridor could eventually be extended to Northumberland National Park and perhaps the Lake District National Park. I hear what you are saying camusfearna, but an enterprise agency should be a vehicle and enabler for other projects and economic regeneration, such as a National Park. SOSE cannot achieve its aims by itself, it must look to ideas such as the Scottish Borders National Park and Galloway proposals to help do that. The effect of such a development in the South of Scotland could readily be seen as two for the price of one since neither Galloway nor the Scottish Borders National Park would have running costs anywhere near the existing two Parks (especially since both Campaigns have proposed that the NPAs concerned would not need to become separate planning authorities).
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