Scotland next national park: Rural group's 24 hour poll sees more response than 8-week council consultation

Rural group poll finds strong opposition to Tay Forest National Park bidRural group poll finds strong opposition to Tay Forest National Park bid
Rural group poll finds strong opposition to Tay Forest National Park bid

A rural group asking whether north Perthshire should become Scotland’s next national park garnered a bigger response in one day than was received during the council’s entire eight-week consultation, a poll has shown.

The Tayside and Central Scotland Moorland Group (TCSMP) posted a survey on its social media channels asking followers to reply to say whether they were for, against or unsure about Tay Forest joining the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs with national park status.

Areas in the Scottish Borders, Galloway, Lochaber, Loch Awe and Tay Forest are in the running to become the country’s next designated national park, with the decision set to be made in the summer.

A spokeswoman for TCSMP said in less than 20 hours, the poll received 410 replies, of which 370 were against the park status. Because of the interest, the group ran a second poll the following day, which saw another 200 replies against the area becoming a national park, she said.

It comes after the Perth and Kinross council’s consultation on the park saw just over 350 responses in total over a period of eight weeks between October and December last year.

Of those who replied, just over half (56 per cent) said they strongly agreed or agreed to their community being located in the proposed national park.

At the time, Provost Xander McDade said: “The chance to create a new national park in Northern Perthshire is an exciting opportunity to support our environment and sustainable rural communities with significant central government funding.

“We have listened to all the feedback we received during the consultation period and used it to help shape our vision. We truly believe that a Tay Forest National Park could be transformative for the local economy, environment and communities in Northern Perthshire.”

TCSMP said the council survey did not fairly represent the views of rural workers and businesses in the area.

The spokeswoman said: “The entire bid process was fundamentally flawed - only 352 responses out of a population of circa 68,000, and 116 of those responses came from outside the proposed park area.

“Only 56 per cent of the responses were positive, and most of them were garnered from charity or conservation organisations. Of those against the bid, 78 per cent were land owners and land managers - the very people who will disproportionally bear the brunt of any policies taken forward by a potential Tay Forest National Park.”



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