South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has urged members of the public to have their say in a new national park consultation.
The Scottish Government has committed to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland by the end of this Parliamentary session in 2026.
The public consultation is looking at what people value about Scottish National Parks, and what these areas should deliver in future – in particular, how they can help to protect and restore nature, tackle climate change and promote sustainable land use.
This will be followed by a longer period during which communities, local government and organisations will be encouraged and supported to develop proposals for new Parks.
The local MSP agrees with the Galloway National Park Association (GNPA) that a Galloway National Park would be a natural choice.
Colin Smyth said: “The momentum behind the campaign for a Galloway National Park is growing all the time and I would encourage members of the public to have their say in this consultation.
“A Galloway National Park would be an incredible way to ensure the area’s post-Covid recovery.
“National parks have a proven track record of providing major economic advantages to their areas, supporting local businesses, generating jobs for young people, providing affordable homes, promoting investment in sustainable rural development and growing the tourism sector.
“These are benefits we sorely need in the south west of Scotland at the best of times but now more than ever, a new national park could be key to our region’s economic recovery.
“The creation of some new national parks in Scotland are long overdue and there is a very strong case for one in our area.”