The Scottish Government is urging people to nominate their local communities as a possible site for a new national park.

Holyrood ministers have committed to opening at least one new national park by the spring of 2026, to add to the two extant ones at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Cairngorms National Park.

Nominations will be launched in the Autumn once the appraisal framework has been finalised, with a number of areas already registering an interest.

The Scottish Government is urging more people, groups and organisations to come forward with their early interest, which can be registered from May 11.

Registration will allow Scottish Government to update interested parties with any important information, key dates and communications throughout the process. It will also enable Scottish Government to contact interested parties about the offer of support that will be made available during the nomination process.

The Herald:

Visiting Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity Lorna Slater said:“I look forward to engaging with communities and learning more about their proposals, and I encourage everyone to get involved as we move closer to naming Scotland’s next national park.

“Our existing national parks play an important role in tackling the biodiversity and climate crises, whilst also supporting local communities, businesses and visitors.

“Last year we consulted widely on the future of national parks in Scotland, and there was broad support for our commitment to create at least one new park by 2026.”

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Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority Gordon Watson said:“National Parks have a vital role to play in securing a more sustainable future for Scotland. They are unique places where we can maximise the benefits that can be provided for nature, climate and people.

“Scotland has set ambitious targets to reach Net Zero and to restore biodiversity by 2045.

“If we are to reach those targets, urgent, bold action is required and Scotland’s existing - and any new - National Parks can make a substantial contribution. 

“Through scaling up our efforts to lock-in carbon in the landscape, restore nature at scale and enable a greener low-emission economy, we can, together, help Scotland make significant progress towards these commitments.”