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Future Nature

What is the future for nature in our National Park? Despite its inspiring landscapes, historic places and protected status, the National Park is not immune to the global biodiversity crisis and nature is still in trouble here.

Our Future Nature programme aims to deliver a positive, exciting vision of this National Park as an exemplar where people can understand, experience and contribute towards a shared vision for restoring nature:

“A resilient nature-rich National Park, where abundant wildlife and a healthy natural environment provide a wealth of benefits through an extensive, well-connected living network.”

 

The state of Nature in the Park

eroded peatlands

Peatland erosion

Pressures from over-grazing, pollution, invasive non-native species and a rapidly changing climate mean that many of our iconic habitats and species are in decline, and are in danger of becoming increasingly rare and therefore vulnerable.

Despite our collective best efforts to date:

  • We need to expand and regenerate our native woodlands
  • Up to 56,600 hectares of peatlands may currently be degraded and contributing towards climate warming
  • Invasive non-native species remain widespread
  • Approximately 20% of Designated Sites are in an unfavourable condition
  • Approximately 50% of water bodies may not be in good ecological condition

Efforts so far have been best intentioned and have created good examples, but their effectiveness has been limited due to insufficient resources and considerable challenges. We are failing to achieve the necessary impact in nature restoration that we need.

If we are to demonstrate real progress in reversing the decline in biodiversity in this National Park a systemic step change in action is required.

Our Commitment – Future Nature

School pupils plant trees with Roots for the Future

School pupils plant trees for our Roots for the Future scheme

It is no longer sufficient to just work to protect what is here now, we must proactively and vigorously rebuild and restore a richer nature that will continue to yield us and our world benefits for long into the future. It is time to pay nature back. This needs to be our legacy.

We firmly believe the demonstration of an exciting, inspiring vision for nature is a crucial part of our mission. Our society, its wealth and its heritage is built largely upon the resources that our natural environment has provided us freely for hundreds of thousands of years.

We now know that the over-exploitation of these resources by humanity has devastated biodiversity at a global scale and fundamentally shifted the planetary life-support systems that have allowed us to move from the stone-age to a technologically advanced civilisation.

Our duty as stewards of this special place has therefore changed in the face of this crisis. Through nature-based solutions, we can achieve positive outcomes for both climate and biodiversity, such as restoring damaged peatlands that help capture carbon and other greenhouses gases, creating new woodlands and forests, and restoring rivers to allow natural flood management.

Future Nature is our commitment and call to action to work with partners to achieve an inspiring vision:

“A resilient nature-rich National Park, where abundant wildlife and a healthy natural environment provide a wealth of benefits through an extensive, well-connected living network.”

 

How will we deliver this commitment?

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Bluebells on Inchcailloch

We are committing to our long-term Future Nature vision. We will begin work now to build on the success of existing projects such as The Great Trossachs Forest and develop new programmes, with an emphasis on upscaling efforts for nature which means working at a landscape-scale, mainstreaming nature into decision making and providing clear calls to action.

We will collaborate with partners and stakeholders to publish a full Route Map which will describe in detail how the National Park Authority will work in partnership with others to deliver our Future Nature vision.

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