The impacts of climate change present very real challenges to our native habitats and species and to our communities and economy in the National Park, particularly in relation to the increasing frequency of flood events and loss of biodiversity.
Large areas of the National Park, including the Loch Lomond basin, Loch Earn basin, the Forth and Teith rivers, Strathfillan and coastal areas round Loch Long, fall within Potentially Vulnerable Areas to flooding.
As seasonal temperatures and rainfall patterns continue to rapidly change we will see some of our species put under the dual pressures of adapting to a warmer, wetter climate and the emergence of new plant diseases.
More prolonged and intense periods of rainfall have seen some of our grazed hillsides become saturated and unstable, contributing to some major landslides and significant disruption to strategic transport routes, such as the A83 at The Rest and be Thankful and the A85 at Glen Ogle.
These threats require us to work to create more dynamic and resilient natural ecosystems where habitats are allowed to adapt to a changing world. For example, alternative management in some upland areas could reduce the risk of downstream flooding events.
The National Park Authority, as a public body, has a key role in contributing to adaption and mitigation of climate change effects, including working with others to reduce carbon emissions and to capture carbon stores.
The priorities for Outcome 3 are outlined below:
Priority 3.1 - Climate Change
Our focus will be working with partners and communities to better adapt to, and mitigate against the impacts of climate change by building resilience and collaborating on land use and water management initiatives which capture carbon and reduce flooding impacts.
The peatlands of the National Park store more than 20 million tonnes of carbon. They are the best carbon store we have, so it’s vitally important we work with land managers to protect and restore them.