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As early as 1931 the Cairngorms area was proposed for National Park status but the proposal was rejected. After the Second World War, Government Committees reviewed National Parks for Scotland and five prospective Park areas: Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, the Cairngorms, Glen Coe-Ben Nevis-Black Mount, Wester Ross and Glen Strathfarrar-Glen Affric-Glen Cannich. In 1953 the Cairngorms National Nature Reserve was declared, followed by the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve in 1958.

In response to the report from the former Countryside Commission for Scotland , Government established working parties in 1991 for Loch Lomond & the Trossachs and the Cairngorms to undertake a detailed review of the needs of the two areas. In 1997, the new Government declared its intention to legislate for National Parks in Scotland and that Loch Lomond & the Trossachs and the Cairngorms should be Scotland 's first Parks. The general National Parks proposals, developed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) after wide-ranging consultation, were accepted by the Government in 1999 as the basis for legislation by the new Scottish Parliament and the matter became part of the new Parliament's first legislative programme. Following debate in Parliament, the National Parks ( Scotland ) Act 2000 passed into law in August 2000. This Act provides for two phases of public consultation on a formal Ministerial proposal, with the final decision to establish a National Park taken by the Scottish Parliament. (SNH, 2005)

More than 70 years after National Parks were first proposed for Scotland, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park was established in 2002, and the Cairngorms National Park in 2003.



In Scotland, National Parks have been established to deliver better management of some of Scotland 's most special areas of outstanding natural and cultural heritage. Their aims are:

  • to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage;
  • to promote the 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 social and economic development of the communities of the area.

Social and economic development is addressed alongside the proper protection of the natural heritage. In cases where there appears to be irreconcilable conflict between these aims, priority will be given to the protection of the area's natural and cultural heritage (SNH, 2005).

A National Park Plan sets out how the National Park will be managed to deliver the four statutory aims. The National Park Authority is a national body, funded by Government and reporting directly to Scottish Ministers. Its main purpose is to prepare and facilitate the implementation of the National Park Plan. The Cairngorm National Park Authority produced its first draft National Park Plan and issued it for public consultation on 16 May 2005 . A final version will be produced in 2006 and submitted to Scottish Ministers for approval.

The National Park Plan, which is expected to be finalised in 2006, sets out how the National Parks will be managed to achieve the statutory aims. Foremost of these is the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. Sustainable use and development is pursued as well as the enjoyment of the Parks by the public.


National Parks - Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park >>