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Nominations invited for new National Park

18 October 2023

Nominations invited for new National Park

Communities and organisations are being invited to submit their proposals to become Scotland’s next National Park.

For the first time, nominations for a new Park will be driven entirely by local communities and organisations, and all areas of Scotland are eligible to submit proposals. To meet the criteria, groups must be able to demonstrate, among other factors:

  • outstanding national importance due to natural or culture heritage
  • a distinctive character and coherent identity
  • how National Park status would meet the specific needs of the area
  • evidence of local support for the proposal

The Scottish Government has committed to designating at least one new National Park in Scotland by the end of this parliamentary session in 2026, provided that relevant conditions can be met. Detailed guidance has been published, and support will be available for any group looking to explore or take forward a proposal. The deadline for submissions is 29 February 2024.

In Spring 2024 all nominations will be appraised against the criteria set out in the appraisal framework. This will inform the decision of which area or areas should go forward for designation as a new National Park.

In Summer 2024 NatureScot will carry out a detailed investigation into the area or areas selected to become a new National Park.  Based on the outcome of that investigation, legislation is expected to be brought forward in order to designate at least one new National Park by 2026.