National park on the agenda for January

The South Ayrshire coastline could become part of the proposed Galloway National Park.
The South Ayrshire coastline could become part of the proposed Galloway National Park.

The bid for Scotland’s third national park to be established in Galloway and along the South Ayrshire coast looks like gathering new momentum in the new year.

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson will hold talks with Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon in January, seeking a commitment from the Scottish government for a consultation over the proposal to be held.

The financial commitment required has already been highlighted by Scotland’s Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham as a concern but those pushing for the area to be given national park status - the Galloway National Park Association was set up in 2016 - believe that the potential economic benefits outweigh the initial financial outlay that would be required and grass roots support for the idea is growing.

They believe that national park status would put the area on the map and Mr Carson stressed: ““We know there is a return on the investment at other national parks and Galloway should be no different.

“We are often seen as the forgotten part of Scotland - or the undiscovered part of Scotland,” he said.

“A classification of a national park would really work wonders to drive visitors here which, in turn, would help businesses and make the whole area more sustainable.”