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National Park status one step closer

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By Euan Maxwell
National Park status one step closer

HOPES of making Galloway Forest Scotland’s third National Park have been given a fresh boost following a new environmental pledge by the Scottish Government.

As part of a cooperation deal agreed between the SNP and the Scottish Greens last week, the parties have committed to designating “at least one new National Park” in Scotland.

It is welcome news for supporters of the long-running campaign to have Galloway Forest assigned with the unique status, which would boost the profile of the area and ensure greater protection for its wildlife and habitats whilst helping to meet climate targets.

The Galloway National Park Association has carried out extensive local consultation in recent months which shows widespread public support, and has submitted a detailed report to the Scottish Government requesting it to carry out a full official feasibility study.

Commenting, South Scotland MSP Emma Harper said: “In April this year, I brought a debate to the Scottish Parliament on the potential to create a new National Park in Scotland. I said then, if there is a new National Park created, it’s got to be Galloway.

“As part of the Scottish Government’s new Trade and Cooperation agreement with the Scottish Green Party, there is a commitment to create a new National Park by the end of this parliamentary term.

“Again, I want it to be located here in Galloway to the benefit of our region. I will immediately write to the Environment and Rural Affairs Minister to ensure the case for a Galloway National Park is continued to be heard.”

Annan and Eskdale, Front

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