A major consultation on the future management of one of Scotland’s most iconic locations has begun.
The Cairngorm and Glenmore area of the Cairngorms National Park is the focus of the 14 week exercise, which aims to develop a long term strategy for the management of the publiclyowned land in this special area of Scotland.
Cairngorm and Glenmore – with neighbouring Rothiemurchus – sit at the heart of some of Scotland’s most important nature conservation sites, attracts over one million visits per year and contributes £172 million to the economy of Badenoch & Strathspey.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is managing the process on behalf of the Cairngorm and Glenmore Partnership, which is made of up of Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Forest Enterprise Scotland as landowners and managers in the area, along with Scottish Natural Heritage and The Highland Council.
Hamish Trench, the CNPA’s director of conservation and visitor experience, said: “Cairngorm and Glenmore are already great. However, we know that development in the past has been ad-hoc, which isn’t good enough for an area so important to the park’s nature, culture and economy.
“We expect visitor numbers to increase and with it, pressure on the environment and facilities. We need to come together to plan for that, to ensure we’re offering a world-class experience for all and continuing to enhance the high quality environment.
“This consultation presents us all with a unique opportunity to lay firm foundations for a co-ordinated and strategic approach to managing this jewel in the Cairngorms National Park’s crown for generations to come.”
In the last eighteen months the Cairngorm and Glenmore Partnership have been working on proposals which form the basis of the consultation with proposals to deliver improvements in the visitor welcome, plans for a visitor hub, access infrastructure, parking and landscape enhancements.
The partners are also working directly with businesses in the locality including the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA), Glenmore Lodge, Cairngorm Reindeer Company, Camping in the Forest, Loch Morlich Watersports, High Life Highland and the and Glenmore Shop & Café. Furthermore, Natural Retreats – the company which now leases the ski operation from HIE – are consulting in tandem on their future plans for Cairngorm Mountain.
Councillor Audrey Sinclair, chair of Highland Council’s planning development and infrastructure committee, said: “The council is a key partner of the CNPA and recognises the importance of the Cairngorm Glenmore corridor as one of the most heavily used tourism corridors in the Highlands.
“We are keen to work with local businesses and communities to improve the visitor experience in this gateway location and encourage as many people as possible to respond to this consultation.”
The proposals can be found on the CNPA website.
The Cairngorms National Park was established in 2003. It is the UK’s largest national park at 4,528sq km.