Cheviot meeting says ‘yes’ to national park

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MORE than 60 people attended the meeting on the pros and cons of the Cheviot Hills becoming a national park.

The discussion was organised by the Southern Uplands Partnership in the wake of a report by The Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) and the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS).

Report author John Mayhew told attendees at the Yetholm event earlier this month that, while there would be difficulties establishing and managing a cross-border national park because of different legal and administrative structures, international experience shows there is no reason it could not be successfully established.

The rationale for the Cheviot National Park was based on the Northumberland National Park stopping at the border while the landscape clearly marches on, he told the meeting, which made little sense, particularly when many say the landscape quality is greater on the Scottish side.

A veteran of several English national parks, Graham Taylor told the meeting the best results were achieved when the park authority worked with local people rather than trying to control things.

SUP’s project manager Pip Tabor said: “The meeting closed with the local community voicing strong support for the idea of a National Park in the Cheviots. It was suggested that this support could usefully be made clear to local politicians and MSPs in the hope that the Scottish Government will start the process of designating additional National Parks in Scotland.”