Herald Scotland article: ‘Wave of conflict’ over national park housing.

"This damaging development plan is destructive of the special features that the national park was set up to conserve and enhance,” said Dr Gus Jones, convenor of the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group.

Press & Journal: Cairngorms plan ‘promotes destruction of national park’

“The natural environment and local communities are paying the price for a park authority that has unacceptably ignored its principal duties. "
Gus Jones, convener of the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group, said: “This plan promotes the destruction of irreplaceable natural heritage in the Cairngorms and promotes excessive, open market development that is destroying the very special features the national park authority has a legal duty to protect.
“The natural environment and local communities are paying the price for a park authority that has unacceptably ignored its principal duties."
Plans for major new housing schemes in Britain’s biggest national park are in breach of the law and amount to a “shocking betrayal” of what the park is meant to stand for, say environmental groups. See report on Rob Edwards - Environmental News and Comment site.

Dear Sir,
It is slightly encouraging to note the dismissal by Roseanna Cunningham, Scottish environment minister, of reports that the Forestry Commission Scotland might be required to sell off its forests in line with its English counterpart, (your report, 25 October).
Many will concur with her affirmation that "we believe Scotland's national forests are a very precious asset" and her earlier "it is quite shocking to think that we only have a tiny remnant of our original native woodland left, due to historical exploitation" (your report, 11 May).

It is all the more puzzling, and unacceptable, therefore, that the Scottish Government has done nothing to prevent the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) from targeting native woodlands for housing developments in its local plan.

This latter is due to be adopted on 29 October, and includes provision for several hundred houses that will destroy areas of pinewoods, some listed as ancient woodland.

Scottish Government reporters advised against these housing allocations in woodlands, following a local plan inquiry (LPI) in 2009, but the CNPA largely ignored their recommendations. Now, despite receiving a letter signed by 16 environmental organisations urging Scottish ministers to intervene and recommending "broad acceptance of the findings" of the LPI, no action has been taken by government. Ms Cunningham may be shocked at the historic destruction of Scotland's native woodlands. Many will be shocked at her failure to prevent further such destruction in Scotland's premier national park.
Roy Turnbull
Vice-convener, BSCG

Original published letter in The Scotsman: http://news.scotsman.com/letters/Letter-Woodland-threats.6598247.jp

BSCG gave an interview to the BBC  for the Reporting Scotland news programme (see link for video) over the sudden Cairngorm Mountain Limited announcement about trial guided walks to the summit of Cairngorm. This was considered before the funicular got planning permission when it was considered impractical.

Passengers to go off the beaten track - Press and Journal

Mountain rail doors to open - Strathspey Herald

All change for the summit as Cairn Gorm passengers allowed to top - The Scotsman

Sunday Herrald article on An Camus Mor: Endangered bug highlights plight of national parks By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor, 20 Jun 2010.

an camas mr site 20100621 1111880826

© 2010 BSCG.  An Camas Mòr site. The green dwarf shrub in the forgeground is bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi  a constant in this heathland vegetation community that was  overlooked  in survey for the developer.

BSCG deplore  the  CNPA decision on Friday 11 June to give the go ahead to 1500 houses on Rothiemurchus estate within the Cairngorms National Scenic Area . We consider  this decision, that was for 400 more more houses even than   reccommended by the CNPA's own officials,  put the developer's interests  ahead  of the national interest of safeguarding Scotland's most precious countryside.

See articles in P & J and The Scotsman.

lowland heath at the an camas mr site 20100616 1330269574

Photo: Lowland heath  at the ACM site.  This is a threatened habitat for which the UK has a special responsibility and is one of the outstanding wildlife habitats habitats that would be destroyed if the ACM proposals are ever given detailed permission (photo BSCG).