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Support for National Parks

Scottish Natural Heritage supports our National Parks and the care, enjoyment and sustainable use of the natural heritage within them.

SNH has always worked closely with Scotland’s two National Parks:

We help to:

  • support the set-up and operation of National Parks
  • promote the care, enjoyment, understanding and sustainable use of the natural heritage within National Parks
  • champion National Parks as one of the protected area designations that help to conserve and enhance Scotland’s natural heritage

Advising on National Park proposals

In 1999, SNH developed the advice that led to the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000.

In 2001, we were the statutory reporter to Scottish Ministers on the National Park proposals for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and the Cairngorms.

In 2006, we advised the Scottish Government on proposals for a coastal and marine National Park.

In 2009, we advised Scottish Ministers on the proposed extension to the Cairngorms National Park.

Our work with National Park Authorities

We also have a wider role in respect of National Parks based on our statutory responsibilities under the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991.

Our role includes specific functions to:

  • manage national and international designations
  • promote measures to implement legislation on access

Our general advisory function extends to the National Park Authorities as well as to Scottish Ministers, local authorities and other bodies.

Both National Park Authorities also contribute to our national work on access, landscape and biodiversity. To help with this, we:

  • liaise on and help to deliver of the National Park Partnership Plan
  • discuss casework and other operational issues
  • Work collaboratively with other stakeholders in the park to find innovative and cost-effective solutions to challenges
  • enable staff secondments and training opportunities

Read more about our approach in Policy Statement No. 02/04: Scotland’s National Parks