Southern Uplands

This covers an area stretching from Galloway to the Cheviots. The scenery is varied with moorland and upland scenery and the glaciated valley between Selkirk and Moffat. Hawick is famous for its Cashmere, and there are several interesting towns strung out across the upland scenery. Largely it it is an area that is not favoured by many tourists. A National park would.act as a strong boost to the area, improving the economy. There are major literary connections Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Hugh Macdiarmid. The Reivers clans were very active in the debatable lands. Common Ridings are held in several towns. Spirting wise the Melrose 7s. There are links to Mary Queen of Scots Jedburgh and Hermitage.

Why the contribution is important

Southern Uplands are a major feature of the Scots Borders. It is largely unrecognised as a tourist area. It’s economy is repressed. A National park would create economic opportunity. .

by Blairb on May 15, 2022 at 08:31AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.2
Based on: 4 votes


  • Posted by gordonhodge May 16, 2022 at 17:23

    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 this I urge that the Galloway Hills should not be designated a National Park.
  • Posted by Prentice May 20, 2022 at 10:58

    Fully support Blairb's post above. Galloway and the South of Scotland would be a great area in which to located a National Park. In response to Gordonhodge's post above: Hi Gordon, could you give an example of Rare or Endangered species in the Galloway Forest. Galloway forest can also be explored on foot, cycling or by car according to Forestry and Land Scotland. Source: The Forest park also has red deer and goats that can be seen as well as a loch, Robert the Bruce trail and Dark Sky Park.
  • Posted by JanetMoxley May 24, 2022 at 12:36

    A South of Scotland National Park would boost the economy in an area which has significant pockets of rural poverty. Admittedly much of the area has been damaged by current land use practices such as overgrazing, grouse moors and commercial forestry, but a National Park designation could help to reverse this and encourage more sensitive management e.g peatland restoration, rewilding and more nature species woodland. This would need to be accompanied by a "just transition for land" to ensure that people currently employed in sheep farming, commercial forestry or gamekeeping are assisted to find new jobs in more sustainable land uses or tourism. Land ownership in South Scotland is a big issue, as a few large landowners can effectively veto projects which would benefit the majority, and tend to extract a disproportionate amount of available funding. Other than Galloway, which is largely owned by Forest and Land Scotland, much of the area is still owned by the old hereditary families (Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of Roxburghe, the Douglas-Homes etc). Not only do these families own the land, the effectively own their tenants. Anyone who attended meetings about Buccleuch's ambitions to frack around Canonbie would have witnessed the factors and their representatives noting down who was there and who said what. It's far more feudal than anything in the Highland crofting counties, where the power of the big estates was reined in after the clearances.
  • Posted by JanetMoxley May 24, 2022 at 12:43

    Also any National Park in Southern Scotland must include Clydedale, not just the Scottish Borders and D&G. Clydesdale always gets forgotten as South Lanarkshire Council focus on Hamilton, East Kilbride and the "Camglen" area, and have not understand of or enthusiasm for rural areas. Obviously Border and D&G are happy to ignore Clydesdale too, as then they get more, but Clydesdale has jewels such as Culter Fell, the Lowther Hills, and of course the upper Clyde Valley itself. Things that Clydesdale has missed out on include the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency and the Borderlands Growth Deal. Instead it is supposed to have benefitted from the Glasgow City Deal because an unwanted road upgrade is being carried out in East Kilbride. It made it into the Mission Clyde initative as an afterthought, and if SLC have anything to do with it won't be engaging with the Destination Tweed project even though the Biggar area is in the Tweed catchments and there would be definite mileage in linking routes along the Tweed to the Clyde Walkway (if and when SLC get round to extending it beyond Lanark to join the Southern Uplands Way as per their Core Path Plan).
  • Posted by Glenmoy May 24, 2022 at 21:21

    This area is blighted by poor land management and eco system collapse. A huge amount of work needs to be done.
  • Posted by Prentice May 25, 2022 at 13:58

    Hi Glenmoy, can you give an example of the work that needs to be done? Thanks I thought the ecosystem of Galloway was good
  • Posted by malcolmrdickson May 28, 2022 at 13:38

    Southern Uplands would be a possibility but possibly too big, not culturally coherent and poor east-west transport links? Two Parks, one in the Scottish Borders and one in Galloway (the only two areas of Scotland that have had active campaigns for NPs for some years now), connected by a wildlife corridor and perhaps sharing the same support services, could be feasible. Neither area would need their NP Authority t have planning authority status since both are contained within one local authority area. Their NPAs could have statutory consultation status for planning applications in their own areas and the same status for revisions of Local Development Plans. The Scottish Government could show, with such a configuration, that it listens to grass-roots movements, does not need to spend as much on these Parks as it does on the existing two, is innovative and creative, and understands rural needs in a part of Scotland which would receive a large boost to the economy by becoming the latest two National Parks in the Borderlands (there are already two in the English Borderlands).
  • Posted by camusfearna May 31, 2022 at 11:19

    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 Gorr73 May 31, 2022 at 12:05

    This would a very difficult one to manage - too big, eith poor transport links, andteo local authorities to deal with.
  • Posted by jamiewp1 June 03, 2022 at 13:33

    The transport links and roads in Galloway would struggle to cope with an influx of tourists caused by the making of a new national park here. I think the making of a NP here would cause more issues than it would solve.
  • Posted by Barrview June 06, 2022 at 12:08

    Must object strongly to Camusfearna's suggestion that you can't have a National Park because you have a new Enterprise Agency. To be consistent then there should be no NPs in areas covered by HIE or SE for that matter. These areas have shown that there is a distinct role for both within the context or rural development. The NPs emphasis on the environment and the communities that depend on that environment balance the aspirations of the Enterprise Agency and its drive to generate new jobs and skills.
  • Posted by camusfearna June 06, 2022 at 14:37

    The establishment of SOSE was a response to the needs of the South of Scotland to have a dedicated enterprise agency rather than rely only on Scottish Enterprise and it should be given time to bed in and deliver before another new public body is established (at further significant cost). Having a dedicated enterprise agency does not preclude establishing a national park but the overlap, duplication and cost issues need to be addressed before establishing another public body in the area. Also bearing in mind that there are other existing public and third sector organisations operating in the south of Scotland delivering for the environment, agriculture, rural development etc.
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