Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park attracts more than four million visitors per year, because of its world-renowned natural beauty, its extensive outdoor recreation opportunities, its close proximity to the large population centres of central Scotland and its easy accessibility by road and rail.
In recent years significant progress has been made in placing Loch Lomond & The Trossachs on the world stage as a ‘must visit’ National Park. This work by the Park Authority and our many partners, has been guided by our previous National Park Partnership Plan 2012-2017, which raised both the level of ambition and the quality of visitor experience in the National Park.
The visitor economy has benefited from the provision of a wider range of excellent tourism offerings and recreation opportunities, as well as the introduction of better management of areas facing pressures from significant visitor numbers. Businesses in the Park will need to keep adapting to changing expectations of both domestic and international visitors to continue to grow.
The strength of our economy in the Park also depends on the positive management of this area’s valuable natural assets with some of the most iconic wildlife and landscapes found in Scotland and the world. The scenic qualities and landscape character of the famous lochs, forests and mountains of the area are integral to the Scottish identity and make a huge contribution to the international appeal of the country, as well as being a vital haven for nature.
The wildlife and landscapes found here attract residents and visitors alike and the ecosystems of the region provide vital stocks of natural capital that the country depends on such as water, timber, energy and food. Economic forces are leading to significant changes in land management activity and it will be important for us to influence changes in land use to improve the Park’s habitats and ecosystems , as well as the viability of land-based businesses that affect the appearance of the landscape.
While we have seen successes in creating jobs and supporting sustainable development, the Park’s communities face the risk of a declining and ageing population and loss of some local services.
A culture of empowering communities has led them to deliver an increasing range of projects and services right across the Park. This has helped deliver regeneration and a strong consensus over development needs, particularly for housing and business growth and for critical infrastructure such as broadband connectivity, that will keep communities and businesses viable for the future.
The fact that the National Park is so close to much of urban central Scotland means we have an opportunity to enable more people to benefit from what the area has to offer. Many living near the Park may lack the means, confidence or knowledge to access the Park. We also have an opportunity to help address health improvement priorities and inequalities by making it possible for more people to get active in the outdoors as an alternative to requiring medical care.
Continuing growth in opportunities to volunteer or take part in outdoor learning activities will enable more people to help look after the Park and connect with nature.
Through our National Park Partnership Plan there is an opportunity to strengthen partnership working by taking a place-based approach, bringing all groups and organisations together with the Park Authority so we can align our efforts and resources to deliver more efficient and effective public services. It can also help ensure that national, regional or local regeneration programmes, such as City Region Deals, are supported to ensure greatest benefit for communities, businesses and visitors.
OUR LONG TERM VISION
We want the National Park to be an internationally-renowned landscape where…
In the next three sections of this plan you will find icons which represent the Scottish Government outcomes that our work directly contributes to. These are highlighted at the beginning of each section:
We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people.
Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.
We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations.
We reduce the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production.
We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others.
We live longer, healthier lives.
Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and respond to local people’s needs.
We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger.
We take pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity.
We live in well-designed, sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need.
We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.