Talks could secure national park for Galloway

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has secured talks which over the coming weeks could finally lead to the creation of a national park in the region.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 11:33 am
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2021, 11:51 am
Mairi McAllan has agreed to meet with Finlay Carson and Galloway National Park Association members

Discussions between Mr Carson and Mairi McAllan, Minister for the Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, are scheduled to take place later this month.

They will be joined by senior figures from the Galloway National Park Association at the meeting that will take place in Galloway.

This comes after the announcement that a new national park was one of the key conditions of the deal between the Scottish Greens and the SNP.

Mr Carson initially wrote to Mairi Gougeon, cabinet secretary for rural affairs and islands, in May asking for a meeting.

She passed the request on to Ms McAllan who has now responded positively.

Mr Carson said: “I am absolutely delighted the minister has agreed to meet me and Galloway National Park Association members right here in Galloway.

“It will be the first opportunity for her to meet with the association who have done so much good work progressing this initiative.

"I have been delighted to support them every step of the way and have raised the issue on a number of occasions at Holyrood.

“I think it is vital that the minister can hear for herself what Galloway has to offer and why it is proving a popular destination for many visitors every year.”

Mr Carson says the commitment by the Greens to create more national parks could play a significant part in Galloway being chosen.

He added: “As we attempt to rebuild the economy in the wake of the pandemic it has already been widely accepted ‘green’ jobs will play a significant role.

“Apart from protecting our environment and wildlife I believe a national park in Galloway will also play a major part in our economic recovery.

“The benefits are enormous and provided it is carefully managed it will be a wonderful addition to Dumfries and Galloway while hopefully boosting the local economy.

"I hope it will also result in more countryside rangers being employed to encourage and educate people on our local environment.”