Nov 13 2009 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Friday
SCOTLAND’S first national park at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs came in for cross-party praise at the Scottish Parliament recently.
Politicians from all parties came together to discuss the contribution of national parks in Scotland to the Greener Scotland agenda and the crucial part they played in the social economic development of communities.
Leading the debate, environment minister Roseanna Cunningham lent her support to having national parks in Scotland and hoped “they would be with us for a long time”.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs received high praise for their work in conservation, visitor experience and rural development including key projects such as the local plan, Operation Ironworks, the 4Bs, the national park biodiversity action plan and Community Futures.
All four parties stressed the important roles national parks play in protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the areas.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park’s chief executive Fiona Logan said: “I’m very grateful to our minister for such warm praise and welcomed the strong support shown by all the MSPs during the debate.
“National parks in Scotland were designated as areas of outstanding beauty and I’m incredibly proud of the role we play in looking after some of the most fragile landscapes and habitats in Scotland.
“At Loch Lomond and the Trossachs we have made significant headway in our three main areas of work – visitor experience, conservation and rural development – and have demonstrated the difference national parks in Scotland make.
“It’s encouraging to see such warmth and support from our colleagues in Parliament. Although we face significant challenges, we are committed to safeguarding this stunning area and investing in the development of our rural communities.”