National Marine Parks

New National Parks that include the sea. The National Parks (Scotland) 2000 Act includes provision for an area of the sea to be included in a National Park. This opportunity could involve: Extending an existing National Park (such as Loch Lomond and the Trossachs) to the coast and into the sea, and/or: New National Parks including areas of the sea out to 12 nautical miles (such as Argyll Coast and Islands). A National Marine Park would simplify, galvanise and collectively endorse an area of seascape for the benefit of people and place. It would support existing coastal communities, their socio-economic health and well-being, important locations (e.g. marine protected areas), and celebrate the full range of natural and cultural heritage. We could create a new generation of National Parks embracing the sea as well as the land. Recent research ( has revealed that there are significant opportunities and support to establish National Marine Parks in Scotland, both locally and nationally.

Why the contribution is important

As a country almost surrounded by the sea it is time Scotland made the most of its exquisite coastline and seascapes. New National Marine Parks could be exemplars of sustainability, particularly in rural coastal areas. This would present an opportunity to tell the story about marine life to a wider audience, help to address disconnect between land and sea, mobilise the wider public and enable the local community to enhance local revenue generation. The economic value generated by Scotland’s two existing National Parks is £720 million, over fifty times the £14 million invested in them by the Scottish Government per year. In 2019, Cairngorms National Park generated £309 million and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park £411 million. A new National Park which included the sea, would enhance the proven value of National Parks, by attracting new visitor spending, small business development and lifestyle opportunities for people working from home. The socio-economic benefits of National Parks have been proven. Nature-based tourism is growing and the value of blue health benefits from spending time by the sea are becoming evident. National Parks show how working landscapes can be areas in which people live and work in harmony. There is potential for similar principles and practices to be applied to the seascape. We believe that new National Parks should include the sea and coastal areas, reflecting the original aims of the Scottish National Parks Act. National Marine Parks could boost economic sustainability, public health, environmental recovery and revolutionise how the public see the ocean in a future Scotland.

by BlueMarine on May 27, 2022 at 05:38PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 12 votes


  • Posted by malcolmrdickson May 31, 2022 at 12:49

    It has been suggested that the proposal for a Scottish Borders National Park should be extended westwards to the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys and perhaps west Tweeddale, but also to the beautiful Berwickshire coast, with its geologically interesting red-brown cliffs and coves, admired by those passing through the Borders on the East Coast Main Railway Line from London. The geology we know today was virtually invented by a Borders farmer and very well-educated scientist. James Hutton FRSE (1796-27) was a Scottish geologist, agriculturalist, chemical manufacturer, naturalist and physician. Often referred to as the father of modern geology, he played a key role in establishing geology as a modern science. One of the Borders sites that particularly interested Hutton and supported his emerging theories of a constantly changing Earth's crust is the Old Red Devonian sandstone cliffs in an inland location beside Jedwater river near Jedburgh. The importance of the coastline and the Jedburgh site to Hutton's development of geology, on top of the beauty of the Berwickshire coast, could be more than enough reasons to include that in a Scottish Borders National Park.
  • Posted by AndrewPym June 05, 2022 at 21:36

    It is encouraging that there is potential to include the sea within a new National Park. The coast is seen as a boundary but there is a very close relationship between the land and the water. Whilst a marine National Park will need to address many different issues, the coastal margins of the sea could usefully be part of a National Park. Galloway is well placed for such an initiative. It would be great for Galloway to be designated to the tide line and then for the Government to explore the extent to which the sea should be included. The Solway Firth, Wigtown Bay, Luce Bay, the waters around the Mull and the Rhinns, and the North Channel up to Ailsa Craig all border Galloway; and they add to the character and special qualities of the whole area.
  • Posted by Barrview June 06, 2022 at 11:48

    The National Parks Act has been in some ways superseded by the Marine Act which sets out the way forward for Marine Planning. A national park could integrate well with the Regional marine Planning Body to ensure that policies work together. Galloway's coastline presents a number of challenges for Marine Planners and with Kirkcudbright being the third biggest harbour by value of landings on the west coast of the UK it is important that the link between land and see is understood and properly managed. A National park with such a signifiant coastline would be a first and be able to begin to look seriously at integrated coastal zone management working with the marine plan for the Solway.
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas

Idea topics