Parties and candidates rally to support a Galloway National Park

Nearly 30 local election candidates from across the political spectrum have so far pledged to support the campaign for a Galloway National Park.

By Brian Yule
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 12:01 pm
GNPA chair Rob Lucas is delighted with the level of support shown

Parties and independents have also included it in their manifestos for the May 5 local elections.

Galloway National Park Association helped persuade all parties now represented in the Scottish Parliament to back the idea of new National Parks – and the Scottish Government has agreed to create at least one by the end of its term in office.

Rob Lucas, chair of GNPA, said: “Our Vote Galloway National Park campaign has won widespread support from candidates and parties across the political spectrum.

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“They are clear that it would bring immense benefits to the region, its people, environment and economy.

“This is an issue where local councils can make a dramatic difference by helping persuade the Scottish Government that the new National Park they have promised to create has got to be in Galloway.”

GNPA has called on all parties and candidates in Dumfries and Galloway, as well as East and South Ayrshire, that could potentially be included in the park, to actively back the campaign.

"Others outside that area have come forward with support, recognising the wider benefits it would bring to the region.

The association also wants Dumfries and Galloway Council to form a National Park Working Group.

Candidates who expressed support as of Wednesday, April 27, include –

Stranraer and the Rhins: Willie Scobie (unattached), Ben Dashper (SNP), Chrissie Hill (Conservative);

Mid Galloway and Wigtown West: Katie Hagmann (SNP), Kenny Campbell (Greens);

Dee and Glenkens: Dougie Campbell (independent), Laura Moodie (Greens), Andy McFarlane (SNP), Susan Murdoch (Conservative);

Castle Douglas and Crocketford: Iain McDonald (Lib Dems), John Young (SNP), Pauline Drysdale (Conservative), Liz Ashburn (Greens);

Abbey: Davie Stitt (Labour), Kim Lowe (SNP), Ian Blake (Scottish Conservative).

Dougie Campbell, independent candidate in Dee and Glenkens, said in his manifesto: “I will support the campaign for a Galloway National Park to ensure social, economic and employment opportunities for our struggling rural communities.”

The Greens said they: “Welcome National Park status which generates high quality jobs, affordable housing for local people and limits the impact of second homes and holiday lets on our communities.”

Labour has committed itself to campaigning for a Galloway National Park.

The SNP say they: “support a feasibility study on the potential for the establishment of a Galloway National Park to protect our scenic landscape and natural marine environment.”

The Conservatives told GNPA they remain committed to creating Scotland’s third National Park in Galloway.

GNPA is continuing to gather support from parties and candidates ahead of the election and letting the public know which ones are actively supporting a National Park.

The full list is available at https://www.gallowaynationalpark.org/support