Scotland's First National Park Opens
But proposals for the second in the Cairngorms are embroiled in controversy over planning and boundary issues
Posted: 25 July 2002
Scotland yesterday officially gained its first national park, Loch
Lomond and Trossachs National Park at a ceremony carried out by
The park covers some 720 square miles and spreads from Crianlarich
in the north to Balloch in the south. It includes 21 mountains and 33
hills as well as Loch Lomond itself. It's the first of its kind in
Scotland despite the long established principle of protected national
parks elsewhere in the UK.
The opening took place at the £3 million Gateway Centre near
Balloch, which will eventually form part of a £60 million
development includign an Imax cinema and a hotel complex.
The opening was welcomed by the Mountaineering Council of
Scotland, but the organisation took the opportunity to highlight the
widespread dismay over the second Scottish national park in the
Cairngorms due to open in 2003.
The Council has attacked the decision to leave planning powers in
the hand of local authorities, who it fears will not protect
mountains from development due to economic pressures and has also
expressed unrest at what it calls 'the illogical southern boundary of
Briefly the southern boundary has been moved north from the
original and logical border for what the Council says are political
reasons halving the size of the park and leaving the southern
boundary deep in the mountain massif and with no logical southern
gateway to the Park.
"We thought we were going to get the biggest National Park in
Europe, instead it now looks like we're going to get the most
political." says MCofS Access and Conservation Officer, Mike
To read the full extent of the the MCofS objections click
here where you'll also find links to a map showing the proposed
Discuss this story