In 2018 a review of the three regional parks in Scotland was carried out for SCNP and APRS by SCNP trustee Graham Barrow who visited each of the parks and held meetings and telephone conversations with key local authority staff and other stakeholders. A draft report was produced in early 2019 and a well-attended workshop with staff from the parks plus other interested parties was held at SNH’s Conference Centre at Battleby, Perth in May 2019. The full report and short summary paper are available. The Regional Parks are long overdue a fundamental overhaul and funding review.
Their future could be to:
a) Strengthen their nature conservation/land use co-ordination role, to protect and enhance the provision of ecosystem services and contribute positively to climate change amelioration, sympathetic to the landscape and:
b) Further increase their use for recreation and tourism as a contribution to public health and well-being and as a contribution to their local economies. Enhancing transport links between the parks and their major nearby cities could be a further strategic objective.
Doing nothing will probably see the Regional Parks eventually disappear from the Scottish scene through lack of funding and central government support. This would be a sad end to a distinctively Scottish initiative, wasting previous effort and investment just at a time when with current policy priorities the designation could really come into its own