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Celebrating cultural heritage in the Park

You wanted to hear more about heritage! During the Park Plan consultation, a lot of you said you’d like to hear more about heritage, arts and culture in the Park. We’re happy to announce that one of the Heritage Horizons: Cairngorms 2030 projects has launched a map-based directory of creative practitioners in the Park . More than 80 Park creatives including musicians, poets, painters, sculptors and storytellers have contributed to the new directory which has received development phase funding through The National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The Community Arts & Culture project’s creative map showcases the depth and breadth of creative activity, expertise and resources in the Cairngorms National Park.  More widely, the project aims to create a greater connection to landscape and place and encourage a desire among Park communities to get involved in climate action. The second stage of the project will see Park creatives come together through a series of workshops to consider ideas on how to inspire and involve members of the community in climate action projects, some of which could be art installations, writers’ forums, youth and school climate activities or community design projects. The aim is to develop some of these ideas, bring them forward for consideration by communities with a view to submitting them for funding consideration for the delivery phase of the Cairngorms 2030 programme. Tania Alliod, project lead, Cairngorms National Park Authority said : “The Community Arts & Culture project is an opportunity for the Park’s creative community to articulate their vision for the contribution community arts and culture makes towards deepening our sense of connectedness with our landscapes and achieving transformational climate action. The first objective was to develop a map to showcase creative practitioners of the Park and I am delighted that so many have contributed and chosen to participate. “We have now begun the second part of the project’s development phase, working in partnership with Park creative practitioners in consultation focus groups to develop and take forward a number of ideas for fostering a desire among people to get involved in community-based climate action through culture and art.” The 18-month development phase of the Community Arts & Culture project is in progress and will culminate in the production of a stage two funding application to The National Lottery Heritage Fund in June 2023, when the ideas for community-based climate action culture and arts projects will be presented. If successful it is anticipated the delivery phase of these projects will run from 2023-2028. The Art and Culture project is one of many that will contribute to the second stage application of the wider Cairngorms 2030 project. One of the creative practitioners involved in the Creative Directory, Frances Crawford of Art in the Buchat, said: “The Creative Directory is a fantastic resource for creatives, communities and visitors to the park and really demonstrates the range and richness of the creative talent we have here.” Creatives in the Park who wish to be involved in this project can contact taniaalliod@cairngorms.co.uk See the Creative Directory here. Find out more about the Heritage Horizons: Cairngorms 2030 projects here. Image: Strathfest Performers by Sophia McLeod

Posted on 22nd June 2022

by Admin

Public feedback helps shape a new draft plan for the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park Authority have published a final draft of the National Park Partnership Plan , incorporating a range of suggestions from members of the public and partner organisations. The new draft draws upon feedback from more than 1,400 people who took part in the formal consultation, which ran from 23 September to 17 December last year. The plan will be reviewed by the Park Authority board on 10 June , before being submitted to Scottish Government for approval over the coming weeks. Of the 1,400 responses received to the formal public consultation, more than half came from people living or working within the National Park, with a range of businesses, community groups, land managers and environmental NGOs also represented. Over two thirds of respondents supported the draft Plan’s outcomes and objectives across the three themes of Nature, People and Place; however, there were a number of areas which respondents were keen for the Park Authority to review. Nature Whilst there was a good level of support for this section of the original draft, a number of changes have been proposed based on respondent feedback, including: People Nearly three quarters of respondents agreed with the original draft outcome and objectives for People; however, a number of changes were requested including: Place As with the People theme, a large majority of respondents supported the draft outcome and objectives for Place, but there were a few key areas that required attention: Xander McDade, Board Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “The Park Authority board has been delighted with both the high amount of engagement and quality of responses to our fourth National Park Partnership Plan, and it is encouraging to see the final draft addressing specific comments from residents, local businesses, land managers, partners and many other groups.“The public consultation and analysis stage is an integral part in the process of delivering a Park Plan that reflects local and national priorities and I would like to again thank the more than 1,400 respondents who took the time to give feedback. The board will now discuss the final draft in public session on Friday 10 June, with a view to a final plan being sent to Scottish Ministers for approval over the next few weeks.“I believe that this draft plan is the most ambitious ever written but, crucially, it is also achievable, helping harness the energy and participation of Park residents, visitors and organisations operating in the National Park over the next five years.”

Posted on 6th June 2022

by Admin

Record response to Park Plan includes feedback on nature restoration, affordable housing and land management

[CLICK HERE TO SEE THE INFOGRAPHIC IN A LARGER FILE SIZE] The Cairngorms National Park Authority are in the final analysis stage of the Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan process. The Plan will go to the CNPA board on 10 June followed by submission to Scottish Ministers for final approval. Of the 1,400 responses received to the formal public consultation for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan, over two thirds of respondents supported the draft Plan’s outcomes and objectives across the three themes of Nature, People and Place. Carolyn Caddick, Deputy Convenor of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Board said : “Over half of the total response to the draft Park Plan came from people within the Park, with more than 700 local residents, businesses, community groups and land managers taking part. Alongside these, more than 50 organisations responded, from councils to deer management groups, NGOs and community organisations. “The analysis stage is a critical part in the process of delivering a plan that reflects local and national priorities for the future of the Park. Inevitably, any plan of this nature will involve a degree of compromise, with the consultation hearing views on both sides of several issues.” CNPA has reviewed every one of the 1,400 responses and is now pulling together a full consultation report, which will be published in full alongside the final Plan in June. In the meantime, CNPA staff and board are considering potential changes to the plan, in light of the feedback received. Whilst these discussions are ongoing, several areas of focus have emerged as key priorities: Nature On the Nature section of the plan, 75% of respondents agreed with the overall outcomes proposed. There was strong support from a wide range of respondents for action to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. There was some debate about how far that action should go and how quickly, with many keen for the plan to be even more ambitious and others asking for changes to some of the targets.  Peatland restoration and ecological restoration were both welcomed, as was the creation of new rural jobs. On land management there was significant debate over woodland expansion, muirburn (some calling for a ban, others for it to be protected as an important land management activity), grouse moor management and controlling deer numbers. These issues will be considered carefully as the final park plan is developed. People Within the People section, 83% respondents felt the draft outcomes were on the right track, with a number of comments received about them being ‘sensible’ and ‘pragmatic’, albeit more detail has been requested for some of the objectives. Support for young people to remain in the Park, helping local businesses transition to net zero and welcoming a more diverse range of visitors to the Park were all popular. A common concern was about the lack of affordable housing for local residents and workers and, whilst these issues were addressed in the Place section, the strength of feeling illustrates the strong relationship between housing and its role in sustaining communities and businesses within the Cairngorms National Park. Place 85% of respondents agreed with the overall outcomes proposed in the Place section. Affordable housing and controls on second homes and rental properties both came out very strongly, as did the need for improved public transport options, cycle paths and walking routes. The emphasis on sustainable tourism was welcomed, albeit some felt that more investment was required to accommodate the number of visitors already coming to the Park. There were calls for the rich cultural heritage of the area to be celebrated, and for more to be done to support local communities post-Covid. Xander McDade, Board Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who responded to the draft Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan. It’s encouraging that a clear majority of people support our draft proposals for Nature, People and Place, but we will listen carefully to all opinions and take these into account as we explore changes to the plan. “As always with a document of this nature, there will be a range of opinions on both sides of a number of issues and our job as a Park Authority is to listen to all sides of the argument and take a considered view of the best way forward, in line with the founding principles of the National Park. “We are fortunate to have such a large body of opinion to draw from, including over 50% of responses from people in the Park. We look forward to sharing more information on this as soon as it’s available in the summer.”

Posted on 11th April 2022

by Admin

Record response from Park residents to Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan public consultation

More than 1,400 responses have been received to the formal public consultation for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan, just under five times the response level to the previous plan. The figure was boosted by a strong showing from people living and working in the area, with over half of all responses coming from Park residents. 55% of respondents were from within the park (residents, land managers and Park business owners), 36% were visitors, 2% from partner organisations and 8% chose ‘other’ as a response. Given the unprecedented level of response it will take a few more weeks for the Park Authority to read through and process all responses in detail; however, some early trends are beginning to emerge. Three quarters of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the overall Nature , People and Place outcomes set out in the draft plan , with comments ranging from changes to deer and moorland management to sustainable jobs, affordable housing provision, public transport improvements and managing the impacts of increasing visitor numbers. Xander McDade, Board Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “We’ve been delighted with the level of response to the draft plan, which has proposed some of the most ambitious objectives ever proposed for the Cairngorms National Park. I’d like to thank all those who took the time to voice their opinions – we’ll be reading each and every submission over the next few weeks and look forward to sharing more detail in due course. “Given the importance of climate change and biodiversity crisis it is perhaps unsurprising that the objectives within the nature section drew the most responses and stimulated the greatest debate. What is clear from initial observation of responses is the strong desire to take action to address critical issues such as climate change. We are aware, though, that there are areas across the draft plan that will need to be changed to reflect the comments we’ve received, and we will be working through these changes over the next few months. “I’d particularly like to thank those living and working in the Park who took the time to respond. We believe that the Cairngorms National Park is a place where people and nature can thrive together; our communities in the Cairngorms are critical to this and so the fact that over 700 local residents, businesses, community groups and land managers took part will help us in delivering a plan that reflects local and national priorities for the future of the Park.” The draft plan drew on public feedback received over the autumn months of 2021 and set out how all those with a responsibility for the Cairngorms National Park will co-ordinate their work to tackle the most important issues, setting a framework for all the public bodies delivering relevant functions in the Cairngorms National Park. The formal consultation on the draft partnership plan closed on Friday 17 December 2021 after respondents used this dedicated Cairngorms Views website and mapping tool, post, email, and phone to give their views. More than 500 people attended physical events in the park throughout the consultation period and the campaign to raise awareness of the public consultation reached over 250,000 on digital platforms. Responses to the consultation have now been collated and the upcoming analysis of responses will inform changes to the plan before it is considered for approval by the Park Authority Board and submitted to Scottish Ministers in summer 2022 for final sign off. This will be the fourth Partnership Plan since the National Park was established in 2003.

Posted on 1st February 2022

by Admin

Public opinion on critical topics relating to future of the Cairngorms National Park sought

Affordable housing, public transport improvements and tackling visitor pressures are among the topics the public is urged to comment on as the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) prepares to close the consultation on the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan on Friday 17 December 2021. The response since the consultation opened in September has been strong, with just under 1,000 comments received via email, phone, post, and through the dedicated Cairngorms Views website. However, with just ten days to go until the consultation closes, more public opinion is sought on the development of housing, transport, and tourism in the ‘Places’ section of the consultation and a dedicated mapping tool has been created to enable people to place a ‘pin’ in the map and identify specific issues that matter to them. Grant Moir, Chief Executive of the CNPA said: “We’ve been thrilled by the response so far, which is almost three times the level received five years ago. Perhaps unsurprisingly, issues relating to nature and the environment have featured strongly in people’s responses; however, we’re keen to hear the public’s thoughts on our People and Place themes, too. “So far we have received comments from the public on concerns on availability of housing in the Park. We’ve heard from young people who want to live and work in the Park, but who require better housing and employment opportunities to do so. We’ve heard from communities who want to be more empowered to help them address the challenges they face. And we’ve heard from people who want to highlight issues relating to transport and tourism that they would like to see addressed. “Ahead of the public consultation closing on 17 December, it’s critical that we hear from as wide a variety of people as possible on the draft plan, to help us achieve a Cairngorms National Park that is enjoyed and valued by everyone and where nature and people thrive together." The draft Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan draws on extensive public feedback received over the summer and sets out how all those with a responsibility for the Cairngorms National Park will co-ordinate their work to tackle the most important issues, setting a framework for all the public bodies delivering relevant functions in the Cairngorms National Park. This will be the fourth Partnership Plan since the National Park was established in 2003. The formal consultation on the draft Partnership Plan runs until Friday 17 December 2021. Responses are being gathered through a number of different physical events and digital platforms, including this dedicated Cairngorms Views website and an interactive mapping tool . If people are having internet connectivity issues caused by storm damage, they can call 01479 873 535 and request that a paper copy be sent to them. People can also provide feedback via: Freepost: Cairngorms National Park Authority, FREEPOST NAT21454, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3BR.  Phone: 44 (0) 1479 873 535  Email: haveyoursay@cairngorms.co.uk Responses to the consultation will be collated in the new year, and these will inform any changes to the plan before it is considered for approval by the Park Authority Board and submitted to Scottish Ministers in June 2022 for final sign off.

Posted on 8th December 2021

by Admin

The housing crisis: we need more of your views on this topic

Left to right: Shona Robison, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Mark Tate, CEO, Cairngorms Business Partnership and Kate Forbes, Highland MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy attended the housing summit in Aviemore. - Two of the objectives of the National Park Partnership Plan (NPPP) are to ensure that there is sufficient housing stock to enable people to live and work within the National Park and to ensure the private rented sector provides appropriate security of tenure for people working in the National Park. One of the 74 responses we received on this topic in the NPPP said: “I do have concerns that there is little that can be done to control the housing availability issue without resorting to drastic changes, much sooner than suggested. The amount of second homes and Airbnb’s in the Park is already huge, and there must be urgent action in collaboration with local authorities to allow local people to fill homes in the Park, and to stem the current epidemic of housing stock being snapped up by the highest bidder.” You can give your feedback on this topic and other topics relating to the Places of the Park here. On Monday, the Cairngorms Business Partnership unveiled to Cabinet Secretaries Kate Forbes, Highland MSP, and Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy and Shona Robison, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, their plans to help alleviate the housing crisis facing workers in the Cairngorms National Park. The summit discussed work that is currently being undertaken to help local people who want to live and work in the area and brought together significant local employers, leaders from Highland Council, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Highland Housing Alliance, Communities Housing Trust, Government Officials, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and representatives of the local community. The formal consultation on the draft NPPP runs until Friday 17 December 2021. Responses are being gathered through physical events and digital platforms, including this web site and interactive mapping tools .

Posted on 24th November 2021

by Admin

One month to go! What are your thoughts on transport, housing and tourism?

It’s only four weeks until the close of the consultation on the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan (NPPP) and everyone is encouraged – if they haven’t done so already – to make their views known on what is considered the most crucial NPPP to date. The response since the consultation opened in September has been strong with over 400 comments received so far. Issues relating to nature and the environment have attracted a particularly high response rate, but the Cairngorms National Park Authority is also keen to hear views on other issues as well, such as, transport, housing or tourism. “The need to act at pace and scale on the climate and nature crisis is clearer than ever and of course, when the previous NPPP was launched back in 2017, no-one knew what Covid-19 was,” said Grant Moir, Chief Executive of the CNPA. “So much has changed in the last five years, so our next National Park Partnership Plan needs to be ambitious and robust to address the many issues we face.” “The draft Park Plan that is currently out for consultation represents the most ambitious set of targets and actions we’ve ever considered but does it capture all the priorities for the Park? We are delighted to have received over 400 responses, with a particular emphasis on the Nature section of our draft plan. However there are other elements we need respondents to focus on, particularly around People and Place. “We want to hear what people have to say about supporting jobs for young people, greater community empowerment, health and wellbeing – both of residents and visitors – as well as the local economy, diversification, skills and training. We need everyone with an interest to log onto the consultation website or get in touch and share their views with us.” The draft Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan draws on extensive public feedback received over the summer and sets out how all those with a responsibility for the National Park will co-ordinate their work to tackle the most important issues, setting a framework for all the public bodies delivering relevant functions in the Cairngorms National Park. This will be the fourth Partnership Plan since the National Park was established in 2003. In the build up to the formal consultation on the NPPP, more than 500 responses were gathered to help shape the draft Plan including views on a range of topics critical to the future of the Cairngorms National Park. Key themes included tackling the climate emergency, improved public transport and better walking and cycling routes, affordable housing, looking after the needs of the local workforce, woodland expansion and peatland restoration, and managing the impacts of increasing visitor numbers. The formal consultation on the draft NPPP runs until Friday 17 December 2021. Responses are being gathered through a number of different physical events and digital platforms, including this web site and interactive mapping tools. Following that, a consultation report will be produced in the New Year that sets out all the key feedback, which will inform any changes to the plan before it is considered for approval by the Park Authority Board and submitted to Scottish Ministers in June 2022 for final sign off.

Posted on 19th November 2021

by Admin

Public views sought as formal consultation phase for fourth Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan is launched

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has launched the formal consultation phase for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan. The draft plan draws on extensive public feedback received since June and sets out how all those with a responsibility for the National Park will co-ordinate their work to tackle the most important issues, setting a framework for all the public bodies delivering relevant functions in the Cairngorms National Park. This will be the fourth Partnership Plan since the National Park was established in 2003. Over the summer, the CNPA gave people the opportunity to help shape a draft Partnership Plan. Anyone with an interest was able to take part in answering a series of questions, including via a dedicated Cairngorms Views website and by using interactive mapping tools, where participants could ‘drop a pin’ where they considered an issue needed addressing and leave comments. More than 500 responses were gathered, highlighting the public’s views on a range of topics critical to the future of the Cairngorms National Park. Key themes included tackling the climate emergency, improved public transport and walking / cycling routes, affordable housing, looking after the needs of the local workforce, tree planting and peatland restoration, and managing the impacts of increasing visitor numbers. A remarkable 92% of respondents said it was either important or very important that action was taken to tackle climate change, whilst 89% agreed or strongly agreed that local communities have an important part to play in shaping the future of the Cairngorms National Park. Around half of respondents (48%) were optimistic about the future, with just over a quarter (27%) pessimistic. Xander McDade, Convener of the CNPA Board , said: "We’re very pleased with the great response we’ve had so far and I would like to thank all those who have already responded their thoughts to help shape the draft plan. There has been a wide range of opinions expressed, but there have also been a number of recurring themes such as affordable housing, better transport and improving conservation within the Park to help combat our biodiversity crisis. “I feel that the draft National Park Partnership Plan is probably our most ambitious to date and has been shaped not just by public sector and third sector partners, but by local businesses and the people who live and work here. “It is vitally important that everyone who calls the National Park home, or enjoys the Cairngorms for recreation or works here, gets involved in this consultation so that it reflects the future we all aspire to and is truly a Park for All.” The Scottish Government's Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater MSP , said: “Urgent action is needed to tackle the climate and nature crisis. We must work together – individuals, communities, and businesses – to deliver transformative change. National Parks are a vital part of this effort. “I urge all who care about the people, communities and natural environment of the Cairngorms National Park to share their voices through the channels offered within the this public consultation to shape a meaningful plan for the future of the Park.” The formal consultation process for the fourth Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan started today (Thursday 23 September) and will run for 12 weeks to the 17 December 2021. Responses will be gathered through a number of different physical events and digital platforms including the dedicated Cairngorms Views website and interactive mapping tools. Following that, a consultation report will be produced in the New Year that sets out all the key feedback, which will inform any changes to the plan before it is approved by the Park Authority Board and submitted to Scottish Ministers in June 2022 for final sign off. To find out more and to give your views, please visit the Nature , People and Place sections of the consultation website.

Posted on 23rd September 2021

by Olly Davies, Head of Communications

Map your views on future of the Cairngorms National Park

In a final push to gather as much information and opinion as possible for the next Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan, the Cairngorms National Park Authority has launched an interactive map, where people can highlight areas of interest or concern by ‘dropping a pin’. The main consultation on the National Park’s fourth Partnership Plan will begin later this month, but officers at the Park Authority have been giving people an early opportunity to help shape the draft document by getting involved in the conversation over the summer, including via the dedicated Cairngorms Views website you're currently visiting. Whilst the core consultation questions will remain online for a few more weeks, this new mapping tool will enable people to leave more specific comments in less than five minutes by pin-pointing on a map the issues or projects that are important to them, their families and their communities. The Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan is the central document that directs and focuses the work of all those organisations operating in the National Park over the next five years. The Partnership Plan will run from 2022 to 2027. Much has changed across the country since the Park Authority consulted people on the previous Park Plan, with the climate emergency and biodiversity crises coming to the fore, COP26 in Glasgow on the horizon, and the world emerging from the grip of a global pandemic. These significant events alongside tackling local issues will make for an ambitious new National Park Partnership Plan and the Park Authority is keen to hear from a wide range of people about the various issues they care about. The initial warm-up exercises that have been carried out over the summer have gathered a great deal of knowledge so far to help develop a draft Partnership Plan for consultation, which will get underway later this month. Using the new mapping tool is extremely easy, with a small number of multiple choice questions and space for people to write as much or as little as they want on the issues that matter to them. Users simply click on the map at the place they wish to comment on and type in a few sentences highlighting the issue or concern. People are able to drop a virtual pin in any area of the map, be that a visitor spot, road or village and they can view what other people have been saying by scanning the map to see other pins and find out what the main topics are. To view existing comments and to add your own views to the map, visit our dedicated mapping webpage .

Posted on 3rd September 2021

by Olly Davies, Head of Communications

The Cairngorms National Park is renowned for its spectacular views... now we need yours!

In 2017, when we last asked people for their views on the Cairngorms National Park, we weren't familiar with the word ‘Covid-19’ or the concept of ‘lockdown’, and the world was still waking up to the realities of a climate emergency. So much has changed since then – for individuals, for businesses, for communities – so we're currently gathering views on what the future should look like for the National Park. From the impact of Covid-19 to Scotland's climate change commitments, a rise in staycations to new housing projects and business ventures, the next five years will have a profound impact on those that live, visit and work in the area. We need your help to shape the future direction of the National Park, to ensure our next Partnership Plan is focused on the issues that really matter. Across the summer we want to hear your views of the Park. We will be speaking to as many people as possible, face to face and virtually, visiting communities (when it is safe to do so!), asking questions and hosting online activity. We will be giving everyone the opportunity to tell us what they think, in person, online or with good old fashioned paper and pen. As a starting point, we will be asking questions covering these six main themes: Grant Moir, Chief Executive of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “To say our lives have changed since the last Park Plan would be a gross understatement. We are only now beginning to get to grips with the effects of the pandemic and new ways of living and working, and that’s before you even consider the profound changes taking place in our natural environment. “That’s why it is vital – for this plan more than any in the past – that we listen to the views of everyone who lives, visits and works in this amazing place. We need to gather thoughts and opinions ahead of the formal consultation in the autumn; to get a feel for people’s priorities and shape the kind of questions we should be asking later in the year. I hope that everyone will want to have a say and we will be using many different ways to listen, so that everyone has the opportunity to get involved.” Over the next six months we will be collecting views in a variety of ways, but one of the quickest and easiest ways to have your say is to click on the 'Have your say' tab above, where you will find more information on all the themes plus a space to share your thoughts and ideas. Alternatively, you can email cairngormsviews@cairngorms.co.uk, or call +44 (0) 1479 873 535 and ask for a hard copy version of the survey questions.

Posted on 4th June 2021

by Olly Davies, Head of Communications

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