Highlands & Islands

Five-year plan for UK's biggest national park launched

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

A plan for managing the UK's largest national park for the next five years has been officially launched.

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

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

The plan was launched by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

She said: "Scotland's national parks conserve and enhance our rich natural and cultural heritage, while supporting the sustainable development local communities want and need.

"That's why I am delighted to launch the Cairngorms plan, which sets out how that balance will be achieved between now and 2022, and which has been developed in full consultation with those same communities."

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.

On a visit to the Cairngorms, Ms Cunningham also viewed the Still, an arts installation that acts as a marker on Snow Roads Scenic Route at Tomintoul.

The route runs from Blairgowrie to Grantown on Spey via Braemar and Tomintoul and forms the highest public road in Britain, according to the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

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