What does the State of Nature report mean for our Future Nature strategy and National Park?
As part of our Future Nature Route Map we made a commitment to set a clear baseline for the State of Nature in the National Park within the first year of the delivery plan.
This is an essential element of taking an evidence-based approach to the restoration of nature across the National Park. The task of completing this review was commissioned through a competitive tender process to a company called Ecosulis who carried out the analysis and completed the report in the summer of 2023.
Assessing an overall State of Nature is complex, requiring assessment of a wide range of factors and indicators. The report therefore pulled together a wide range of sources and analysed datasets in order to give an overview of the baseline for nature in the National Park.
It took two points of comparison:
The prior research and context already set in preparing the Future Nature Route Map and draft National Park Partnership Plan meant we were already well aware that the National Park is not immune to the global biodiversity crisis and nature is still in trouble here. We were therefore not surprised that the overall assessment was a mixed picture for nature:
The National Park Authority is committed to reviewing the State of Nature every 5 years to assess the long-term impacts of our Future Nature delivery plan. This will be alongside more regular annual reporting focusing on the delivery outputs of work by the National Park Authority and other Future Nature collaborators.
Follow up work will aim to establish a summary set of indicators which can be used to track progress as well as to establish targets and parameters which mean by the next State of Nature review we are able not only to compare progress against the current baseline and against the rest of Scotland, but also against a defined ‘end-state’ which quantifies a definition of ending nature loss and restoring nature to achieve the vision of a vibrant, nature rich National Park.