As well as addressing the issues and opportunities within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, the National Park Partnership Plan also sets out how we will address national priorities and achieve benefits for Scotland beyond the National Park boundaries.
By leading successful partnerships, our National Parks contribute significantly to the Scottish Government’s Purpose:
To focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
National Parks bring clarity of focus in addressing a range of interrelated rural issues at a regional and local scale ensuring better co-ordinated delivery and best use of limited public resources. This also makes our National Parks a perfect place to innovate and develop new solutions.
This Plan provides the unified approach that can:
- Manage and improve the condition of our natural assets on a landscape scale
- Promote, test and implement innovative solutions to rural issues
- Widen the range of benefits that the National Park’s outstanding environment can provide to Scotland’s people and its visitors
Why we have National Parks
Scotland has two National Parks, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and Cairngorms National Park. Scotland’s National Parks share four aims set out by the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000:
- To conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area
- To promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area
- To promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public
- To promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities
These aims are to be pursued collectively. However, if there is conflict between the first aim and any of the others then greater weight must be given to the first aim (section 9.6 of the National Parks (Scotland) Act).
National Park Authorities are dedicated to delivering for the people of Scotland. We strive to make a difference and we firmly believe we’re better able to do that by working together. We take a partnership approach to making things happen and we’re proud of the results we deliver, together, for this very special part of Scotland.
Delivering National Benefits
Throughout this plan you will see how here in the National Park we aim to address some key issues, not just for the benefit of the National Park itself but for Scotland as a whole.
The plan contributes to these national priorities:
- Valuing and reversing biodiversity loss – Covering around 9% of Scotland, including some of the most important areas for rare and threatened species, Scotland’s National Parks deliver landscape-scale conservation. Large-scale habitat enhancement together with priority species action in National Parks makes a significant contribution to meeting Scotland’s 2020 Biodiversity Challenge.
- Sustainable economic growth – Our National Parks’ growing international reputation as a ‘must visit’ destination can contribute significantly to sustainable economic growth in rural Scotland, supporting business growth, attracting investment and providing more jobs and training opportunities, especially for young people.
- Climate change – Woodland expansion, peatland restoration and active travel in National Parks deliver climate change mitigation. Our integrated approach to land use planning can also help deliver significant adaptation and resilience for communities within National Parks and in surrounding lower river catchments.
- Natural capital – Scotland’s National Parks exemplify the connections between nature, our economy and our quality of life. With over six million visitors each year, our National Parks are national assets that protect and enhance the natural capital underpinning tourism, land-based businesses and our rural communities. Covering the upper catchments of some of Scotland’s major rivers, our National Parks are key places to connect the value of land management with wider community and economic benefits.
- A Park for All – Scotland’s National Parks are for everyone to enjoy, whether they call Scotland home or visit from around the world. People of all ages, abilities and backgrounds should have the opportunity to experience these landscapes and take advantage of the many important benefits they provide.
- Community empowerment – Building on the strong foundation and legacy of community capacity building and action planning, communities in our National Parks are increasingly taking the lead in local development and regeneration. There is growing potential and opportunity for communities to provide services, manage assets and deliver projects.
- Health and wellbeing – National Parks enable people to improve their health and wellbeing by getting active and connecting with nature. The growing network of recreation routes and opportunities within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and its close proximity to Scotland’s urban population, offers significant scope to work with the health sector and increase participation in outdoor activity to support better health outcomes.