Celebrating national parks at 70
Saturday 6 April marked the start of #DiscoverNationalParks - a two-week celebration across the UK with events and experiences to inspire all people of all ages and interests to get outdoors, explore and learn more about these very special places.
Scotland’s two national parks – Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorms – are very much newcomers, having only been created in 2002 and 2003 respectively. But they are included in the celebrations all the same.
Much of the land in the national parks is privately owned by individuals, with some areas also owned by charitable conservation bodies such as National Trust for Scotland and government agencies such as Forestry and Land Scotland. The biggest influence on how land is managed in the parks is in most cases the landowner but other factors such as topography, climate, habitat and soils are also important influences. The historic mix of management – moorland, forestry and agriculture – when taken with the parks area’s geology and natural history, make national parks what they are today.
Our members play an important role in delivering conservation, rural development and visitor experience priorities across the parks. Not only do national parks provide some of the most valued environments in Scotland, they also provide employment for local people and a place for people from all over the world to visit and enjoy.
Partnership working is an important part of managing the habitats found in national parks and the National Park authorities work with a number of organisations including environmental charities, local communities and landowners, to conserve and enhance these special landscapes.
It is the habitats and wildlife of national parks that are key to their success and popularity.
Home to an amazing array of wildlife and landscapes, they draw in visitors from across the globe. From the tranquil woodlands, mountains, glens and lochs of Loch Lomond to the stunning forests, wetlands, meadow, rivers and moorlands of the Cairngorms – there is something for everyone.
These areas all offer a range of habitats which support a huge variety of wildlife and are great places to watch and learn about wildlife. Strongholds for Capercaillie, Crested Tit, Lapwing, Pine Marten, Ptarmigan, Scottish Crossbill, Dotterel, Osprey, Snow Bunting, Golden Eagle, Black Grouse, Red Squirrel – the list is endless!