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Spotlight on achieving net zero

Children riding bikes in Inshriach Forest (c) Peter Cairns, 2020VISION

We've just passed the 100 days to go mark for COP26, which is due to take place in Glasgow in November. In honour of this landmark - and to reflect our own ambitious plans for the Park Authority and National Park - this week's article is all about how we achieve net zero as a National Park, and what that means for the people who live, work and visit here. Below is just a small snapshot of the responses we've received to date to the question, "What steps do individuals, communities, businesses and organisations need to take for the National Park to reach net zero emissions?". If you haven't already done so, there's still time to add your response to the consultation:

  • "Make it easier to heat old houses. I've no loft or cavity wall, live in a conservation area so wooden sash windows and doors."
  • "Better public transport, it's very poor. You also need to be more forceful on not allowing people to drive and make them use public transport, cycle or walk."
  • "Investment in renewable energy sources (taking aesthetics and wildlife into consideration). Small community electricity generation."
  • "Grants and low interest loans to help small businesses transition. Provision of small runaround bus service (electric?) between villages and towns, particularly where public transport does not run."
  • "Encourage everyone living in the park to plant a tree/rewild in some way, identify places where trees can be planted by citizens, perhaps land owned by the council."
  • "Connecting Braemar to Ballater with a cycle path would be great to encourage more people to use this, and then we would be connected all the way to Aberdeen. Also, the west and the east of the park are totally disconnected by public transport. Even in the summer only I think this could be a good idea."
  • "I think larger businesses and organisations need to do more as the impact of reducing their carbon footprint is far bigger than individual endeavours."
  • "What's most important is allowing traditional businesses and land use - farming and estates - the chance to continue without ridiculous restrictions placed upon them. While we should attempt to reduce carbon it can't be at the expense of traditional farming and estates, to please the metropolitan elite."
  • "Organisations could really help communities by making information and resources available to those who might need a nudge in the right direction, or practical inspiration. Communities and businesses could then, perhaps with help, organise workshops to help others."
  • "For one, a simple meaningful scorecard that can be communicated openly would help. Also to kids via schools, as they influence the future - and their parents."

Thank you to everyone who has given us your views so far - these are all being fed into the discussions about the shape of the next National Park Partnership Plan and will help determine what the key priorities are for the Park Authority and partners to tackle. If you have any thoughts on the above comments, or want to put your own view across, we'd love to hear from you. And if you have contributed already, please do or share this consultation with your friends and family to help us reach as many Park enthusiasts as possible.

Posted on 28th July 2021

by Olly Davies, Head of Communications