Plan sets out five-year vi­sion for na­tional park

The Oban Times - - News - KATIE CARA­BINE kcara­bine@oban­

THE pub­lic are be­ing in­vited to have their say on a fiveyear plan to widen the so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal, cul­tural and eco­nomic ben­e­fits of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park.

The draft Na­tional Park Part­ner­ship Plan 2018-2023 sets out a broad-rang­ing vi­sion for how the park au­thor­ity, along with its part­ners, pro­poses to tackle pri­or­i­ties in­clud­ing youth em­ploy­ment, cli­mate change, out­door recre­ation, health and well­be­ing, and in­vest­ment in towns and vil­lages.

A 12-week con­sul­ta­tion on the draft plan started on Mon­day April 10 and will run un­til Mon­day July 3.

Pri­or­i­ties set out in the draft plan in­clude at­tract­ing and re­tain­ing more skilled work­ing age and young peo­ple, sup­port­ing a thriv­ing vis­i­tor econ­omy, ad­dress­ing the im­pacts of cli­mate change, em­pow­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties, pro­tect­ing nat­u­ral re­sources, in­vest­ing in built and his­toric en­vi­ron­ments, and get­ting more peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence the health and well­be­ing ben­e­fits of con­nect­ing with na­ture and the out­doors.

The plan is the first ma­jor piece of work led by the new con­vener of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park, James Stu­art, who is also manag­ing di­rec­tor of En­tre­pre­neur­ial Scot­land.

He said: ‘The na­tional park is a truly spe­cial place and this plan pro­poses how we, along with a wide range of other or­gan­i­sa­tions, can work to­gether over the next five years to look af­ter, en­hance and make the most of it. By work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively with all of our part­ners, we can achieve a much greater im­pact.

‘The fo­cus is on big pri­or­i­ties for ac­tion that are most likely to make a last­ing dif­fer­ence to the area, its com­mu­ni­ties, the peo­ple who visit and to the Scot­tish econ­omy.

‘This is an ex­cit­ing time for the na­tional park and we want peo­ple to get in­volved in plan­ning the fu­ture of the area by telling us what they think of the vi­sion set out in this draft plan.’

Gor­don Wat­son, chief ex- ec­u­tive of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park, said: ‘There is al­ready some great work be­ing un­der­taken within the na­tional park to pro­vide young peo­ple with op­por­tu­ni­ties to gain valu­able skills and ex­pe­ri­ence to sup­port their fu­ture em­ploy­ment.

‘We want to build on that by work­ing closely with our part­ners to broaden that range of op­por­tu­ni­ties, whether it’s through train­ing, vol­un­teer­ing, mod­ern ap­pren­tice­ships and em­ploy­ment so that young peo­ple grow­ing up in the na- tional park aren’t miss­ing out on the op­por­tu­ni­ties that those liv­ing in more ur­ban ar­eas have ac­cess to.

‘ We are con­fi­dent that this, along with mea­sures to ad­dress the lack of af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions and ef­forts to pro­tect and en­hance lo­cal ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture, will en­sure a bright fu­ture for young peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing within the na­tional park.’

To read the draft plan and re­spond to the con­sul­ta­tion visit­sul­ta­tions.

We will en­sure a bright fu­ture for young peo­ple within the park” Gor­don Wat­son Na­tional park chief ex­ec­u­tive

Pho­to­graph by Martin Shields

Na­tional park part­ner­ship plan con­sul­ta­tion launch at Cal­lan­der Youth Pro­ject.

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