The Story So Far


Background to National Parks in Scotland

National Parks are established under the provisions of the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000.

The Scottish Government provides annual funding to Park Authorities in the form of Grant in Aid, with which to deliver the 2000 Act’s statutory aims as well as other functions and duties conferred on them by the Act.

The 2000 Act sets out four National Park aims:

  • to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage
  • to promote the sustainable use of the natural resources of the area
  • to promote understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public
  • to promote sustainable social and economic development of the communities of the area

The Park Authorities’ role is to co-ordinate the delivery of these four statutory National Park aims, and in this way ensure a sustainable future for these areas.

Statement by Ms Lorna Slater MSP co-leader of Scottish Greens to the Scottish Parliament:

“It is almost two decades since Scotland’s first National Parks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorms were established. Both are home to some of the country’s most outstanding scenery, are internationally important areas for nature and receive millions of visitors each year. They work hard to tackle the biodiversity and climate crisis, help manage facilities for visitors, promote responsible access and develop sustainable communities. They have become jewels in Scotland’s crown, and now is the time to add to them.

“We are committed to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland by the end of this Parliamentary session in 2026. To be able to do this in an open and transparent manner, we need to be able to assess any new area which is to be considered for National Park status against a set of agreed expectations.”