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Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

The Park is 1,865sq km and has a boundary length of 350km. It is a mountaineous area with 20 Munros (mountains above 3,000ft) and 20 Corbetts (mountains between 2,500ft and 3,000ft). There are 22 larger lochs, with numerous smaller lochs and lochans, as well as about 50 rivers and large burns.

Farming is the major land use in the park, with registered agricultural land accounting for around 55% of the area, compared with 28% for forestry and woodland. Almost all (98%) of the Park's agricultural land is classified as LFA, with 97.4% classed as Severely Disadvantaged. About 87% of the agricultural land is rough grazing. The level of tenanted agricultural land in the National Park stood at 47% in 2003, and is much higher than the Scottish average of 30%.

The key issue facing the Park Authority will be how to ensure that the inevitable changes in agricultural practices occurring in response to changes in agricultural support policies and market conditions contribute to achieving the environmental, social and economic objectives of the National Park. Decoupling of agricultural support from production may lead to significant reductions in stock numbers on certain farms or in certain areas. There is an increasing possibility of the abandonment of grazing in significant areas of the Park.

While farmers are concerned that productive farming could become marginalized within the Park with an increasing emphasis on tourism much of this change is inevitable. It is important to ensure that as far as possible changes in policies support the aims of the park – including all 4 aims. Already, there is an increasing reliance on non-agricultural income sources.

While land managers have concerns over potential conflicts between land management and recreation interests e.g. potential disturbance of farming activities, especially at sensitive times such as lambing, there is an opportunity to promote public awareness of the role of farming in contributing to the objectives of the National Park, e.g. landscape, environment and social and economic aims. ( Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, 2005)

More than half of the area of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is used agriculturally, most of which is classified as Severely Disadvantaged. Changes in agricultural policy bear the danger of abandonment of grazing in some parts of the Park, leading to changes in habitat and landscape. 


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