The Scottish Greens will today unveil ambitious proposals to expand and upgrade Scotland’s national and regional parks.
A new report from the party builds on manifesto commitments to expand Scotland’s National and Regional Park network, with the aim of making them a centrepiece in our efforts to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
This includes establishing at least two new national parks in the next parliament as well as new regional parks, giving park authorities greater powers of how land is used within the boundaries, increasing environmental protections, putting more land into public ownership, and ensuring all parks benefit from ranger services.
Scottish Greens highlight the plans to develop a commercial theme park in Loch Lomond as an example of why better protections are needed.
Initially, Flamingoland proposals were thrown out after it became the most unpopular planning application in Scottish history but Scottish Enterprise still supports the development at the site.
Speaking ahead of a visit to Loch Lomond, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “A Scot invented the notion of a National Park, so it’s shameful that we have so few here in Scotland, and those that we do have are in poor condition and under threat. Unlike the great American National Parks, ours are not run for and by the people, but instead are dominated by grouse shooting and commercial developments that threaten vital wildlife habitats.
“The Scottish Greens will renew our national and regional parks as part of our bold, coordinated efforts to restore nature and tackle the climate and nature emergencies. That means at least doubling the number of national parks and creating regional parks to restore our natural environment, boost tourism and create rural jobs.
“This level of ambition is only possible if our national and regional parks ae invested in and have the protection of park authorities with real powers so that the public and local community interest can be put ahead of commercial interests like Flamingoland. Our future depends on it.”