Highlands & Islands

Five-year plan for UK's biggest national park

Cairngorms Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The Cairngorms National Park is twice the size of the Lake District National Park

A plan has been produced for managing the largest national park in the UK for the next five years.

Proposals for the Cairngorms include increasing woodland, restoring peatland and investing in walking routes on Deeside and Speyside.

The proposal will be considered by the Cairngorms National Park Authority's (CNPA) board before going to the Scottish government for approval.

The park covers parts of the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire.

It also covers Angus and Moray.

The 4,528 sq km park is twice the size of the Lake District National Park and bigger than the whole of Luxembourg.

A target to have 200 new affordable homes built by 2022 and delivering superfast broadband to "hard to reach" parts of the park also form part of the five-year plan.

Grant Moir, the CNPA's chief executive, said: "There has been an incredible amount of work gone into developing the next National Park Partnership Plan (NPPP) - not only from our staff but from all the partners who have contributed and of course the public who took the time to respond to last year's consultation."

He added: "I think that the NPPP addresses a lot of the concerns and comments that were fed back to us and I think we are setting the park on the right course with a good balance between conservation, visitor experience and rural development.

"It is of course for the board to decide on the 7 April if it is the right direction, with the final say resting with ministers."

The National Trust for Scotland and environment organisation Scottish Environment Link have welcomed the plan.

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