Public support for a Borders national park

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The prospect of a national park in the Scottish Borders has just got closer with publication of a key report by Scottish Borders Council.

Earlier this year, those interested in the future of the Scottish Borders were invited to respond to the council’s main issues report (MIR) and there was a positive response to a question about support for a national park, centred on Roxburghshire and taking in much of the southern Borders. And campaigners believe that most, if not all, well reasoned grounds for objection can be mitigated against.

Jane Bower, campaign team leader said: “The consultation provides independent vindication of our conviction that the creation of a Scottish Borders National Park would - and must - benefit everyone who lives and works in the region, while safeguarding and enhancing the Borders’ unique assets.

“The Scottish Borders are heaven for visitors and those who retire here. However, it is critically important to remember that for those who need to make a living here, the region needs more people and investment.”

A feasibility study into the national park proposal in 2017 concluded that ‘a compelling case can be made for a national park shaped for the southern Borders, delivering sustainable economic growth, and based on long term stewardship of the unique and treasured rich historic culture and inspiring landscapes of the Borderlands’. It also confirmed the proposed area meets the three conditions set out by the National Parks Scotland Act, and that it also has support from people, communities and businesses.

Campaign team member Malcolm Dickson said that the independent feasibility study had persuaded many individual councillors of the rationale behind the NP proposal, saying: “It is significant this new consultation carried out by SBC officers has come up with this positive result, especially since the nation park proposal need not cost the council anything, and has huge potential to improve the whole region’s economic development, environment, and quality of life.”

“Potential visitors and investors first need to know about the Scottish Borders – and NP designation is the cheapest, easiest and simplest solution.