Call to support a Galloway National Park at the ballot box next month

A campaign has been launched to encourage voters to seek out and support local election candidates who pledge active support for a Galloway National Park.

By Brian Yule
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 3:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 3:40 pm
Rob Lucas wants the next Dumfries and Galloway Council to get behind a new national park. Pic: credit Colin Hattersley.
Rob Lucas wants the next Dumfries and Galloway Council to get behind a new national park. Pic: credit Colin Hattersley.

During last year’s Scottish Parliament election the issue achieved widespread political backing, with every party supporting the creation of new national parks and the current administration promising at least one by the end of its term.

Now the battle is on to make sure it comes to Galloway, and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s active support could make all the difference.

Rob Lucas, chair of the Galloway National Park Association (GNPA), said: “This is an issue where candidates can mark themselves out as having a real vision for the future and how to bring sustainable prosperity to Dumfries and Galloway.

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“We are urging people to ask candidates whether they will put their backs into making sure the next National Park is in Galloway, and to vote for those who will on May 5.

“If our council chooses to actively champion this cause it can have a tremendous impact – working with business and the community to convince the Scottish Government that it’s got to be Galloway.”

GNPA is contacting all the candidates and asking them to state where they stand and pressing the council to create a National Park Working Party to make it happen.

There is already strong public and business backing for a Galloway National Park which it is claimed will bring lasting benefits by: making the most of our countryside and coastlines; generating sustainable tourism; creating business opportunities and jobs; providing a marketing brand on a world stage; attracting millions of pounds a year in investment and income; combating climate change and enhancing environmental protection; improving health and wellbeing; offering opportunities for leisure and outdoor activities; and encouraging young people to remain or return to the region.

An online poll by The Scots Magazine saw the region take 50 per cent of the votes more than the other potential locations – Ben Nevis, Glen Affric, Argyll, Wester Ross, Harris, Borders – combined.