The Scottish Parliament wants views on plans to extend the Cairngorm National Park.
A bill before the Scottish legislature proposes including the Forest of Atholl, Blair Atholl, the Beinn A’Ghlo range and Beinn Udlamain. A scrutiny committee will hear views of local residents and interested parties and the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) is urging its members to take part.
The rural development committee will hold a meeting at Blair Atholl on 5 February to listen to representations. Registration for the meeting is needed, by contacting the parliament’s visitor services department firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MCofS is a member of the Perthshire Alliance for the Real Cairngorms (Parc), which also includes the John Muir Trust, Ramblers’ Association Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and the RSPB Scotland, as well as local businesses, Perth and Kinross Council and Perthshire Tourist Board.
It aims to expand the southern area of the Cairngorm National Park to include the wilderness areas which it says naturally belong in the park. Garry Stagg, president of the Atholl Mercantile Association, which belongs to Parc said: “As you drive north along the A9 you pass Killiecrankie and move from Big Tree Country into the moorland wilderness that characterises both Atholl and Badenoch.
“This is where the Cairngorms start, not on the far side of Drumochter.
“As businesses, the last thing that we want to do is try to explain to visitors why some Cairngorms mountains are in the National Park and others aren’t.”
If passed by MSPs, the Cairngorms National Park Boundary Act 2006 will also change the make-up of the park authority. Details of the proposals can be seen on the MCofS’s website.