Pentland Hills park proposal reservations

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The council has reservations about MSP Christine Grahame’s proposal to extend the Pentland Hills Regional Park into the Borders.

Ms Grahame invited comment on the idea from various parties, receiving the thumbs up from the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS).

But a spokesperson from Scottish Borders Council (SBC) said last week: “The council was invited by Christine Grahame, MSP to respond to her proposal. Following consultation between key members and officers, a response was sent on May 13 to the effect that as the proposal creates a number of concerns for SBC, particularly financial ones, we could not support without further clarification.”

Ms Grahame’s plan is to extend the park south and south-west, creeping into the northern Borders.

In its response, APRS said: “The compromise boundary established in 1986 lacks logic, as it resulted from administrative considerations at the time rather than defensible landscape criteria, so it is right this anomaly should be rectified.

“This will help the entire Pentland Hills range and its surrounding communities to achieve its full potential, and will secure the integrated management of the Pentland Hills for the benefit of future generations.”

And APRS director John Mayhew said: “Extending the boundary would provide greater opportunities for a wider range of people to enjoy the health benefits of outdoor recreation, including people who do not currently benefit from this type of activity.”