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First of all, than.. by Alex92   (Show all posts)
weedavie
2007-07-05 16:12:10
Are they national? Are they parks?
The Scottish experience of National Parks has not been entirely happy. The Cairngorms NP has failed to fight against some horrendous developments round Aviemore, though this area's arguably unsaveable anyway. More seriously, it has supported the funicular, ostensibly as an investment in our fast-disappearing skiing industry. This white elephant had written into its charter that there would be no access from it to the plateau for walkers (keeping access difficult is key in protecting this fantastic but vulnerable area.) As skiing has disappeared, there is a desperate move to get summer income by relaxing this requirement. The NP is not appearing on the side of the angels in this fight. In similar development against environment squabbles, Loch Lomond NP has tended to go for growth. Both NPs have acquired lots of staff with no clear function.

It seems to me that Ireland has more need of single issue organisations. Freedom of Access is obviously a problem, though not one I've encountered in my narrow Galway / Mayo focus. A National Park won't necessarily be an improvement here. Instead of addressing core issues in Scotland we see the expenditure of massive funds and cubic metres of hot air on marginal matters like the survival of the Capercaillie. This is a turkey-like bird with a habit of dicing itself trying to fly through deer-fences. It's been wiped out once already in the last century, reintroduced from Scandinavia and now it's back down to the margin once again. It's clearly a case where Darwin says no but it's an ideal way to waste public and charitable money. A real problem, on the other hand, is estates bulldozing tracks without permission. Individuals challenging these have generally had more success than the NPs.

Go on - fight your own causes. Simon's militant rambling force is more likely to be able to wage a single-minded campaign than any new bureaucratic body.
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