CNPA wants over 20 percent rise in Park population

The Cairngorms National Park Authority’s housing policy in Badenoch and Strathspey assumes a 20 percent increase in population over the next 20 years, accepting the Highland Council’s highest growth predictions (Cairngorms National Park Authority, 2011). Not content with this, however, the Authority wishes to push for increased economic growth and increased migration into the area (Miles, 2012) (Cairngorms National Park Authority, 2011).  It does not accept that this will have a detrimental effect on the Park’s “special qualities” (Cairngorms National Park Authority, 2011).

Increase in holiday homes marker of CNPA success?

Duncan Bryden, the new Chairman of the CNPA, evidently regards the cherry picking of local homes as holiday homes as an indicator of the Park’s success.  In an article in The Geographer (Spring 2012) heralding the CNPA’s successes, Duncan Bryden writes: “Every year, over 1 .3 million visitors enjoy outdoor pursuits [in the Park], with affluent walkers and skiers snapping up surplus rural properties for holiday homes…” (Bryden, 2012)

CNPA draft national park plan consultation – response rate plummets

The CNPA has repeatedly extolled the success of its consultation process, and used this to justify its more controversial decisions (Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, 11 January 2012).  Despite this the inhabitants of the Park are increasingly unconvinced that it is worth taking part.  From 2006 to 2011 the number of individual responses to the Draft National Park Plan consultations halved (2006 - 61 : 2011 - 33); the number of people attending public consultation meetings dropped by almost 200 people (from 588 in 2006 to ‘nearly’ 400 in 2011) and even the number of public bodies consulted dropped from 21 to 13 (Cairngorms National Park Authority, 2007) (Miles, 2012).  Not surprising given that the views of those who do make the considerable efforts needed to take part in CNPA consultations are so often ignored or dismissed as ill-informed or naive.

Scottish park board members – we voted for you but we can’t contact you

Despite the fact that the CNPA is proud of the fact that it numbers directly elected members amongst its board it makes it extremely difficult for those who elected these board members to contact them to make their opinions known.  Out of the 15 British national parks, only the two Scottish national parks refuse to publish contact details for board members on their websites.  While the English national parks give postal address, telephone numbers and e-mail, the Scottish parks do not even offer an e-mail address!


Bryden, D., 2012. The Cairngorms National Park- A Park for All. The Geographer: The newsletter of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Issue Spring 2012, p. 14.

Cairngorms National Park Authority, 2007. Consultation Report on the Cairngorms National Park Plan, Grantown-on-Spey: Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Cairngorms National Park Authority, 2011. Cairngorms National Park Local Development Plan Main Issues Report Background Evidence 1: Housing and Population, Grantown-on-Spey: Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Cairngorms National Park Authority, 2011. Minutes of Board Meeting, 16 March 2011, Grantown-on-Spey: Cairngorms National Park Authority.
Miles, G., 2012. National Park Plan Review Consultation Report, Grantown-on-Spey: Cairngorms National park Authority.

Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, 11 January 2012. Bosses accused of 'paving over' national park, Inverness: Scottish Provincial Press Ltd