THE newest member of the National Park's board says he's looking forward to bringing his experience of tackling racism to the organisation's work in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

Colin Lee was appointed by the Scottish Government and began his term on the park authority's board on Wednesday, November 15.

The park says Mr Lee has 30 years of experience working in the third sector, particularly in equalities.

He is currently chief executive of national intermediary race equality organisation CEMVO Scotland.

Mr Lee has also been an equalities adviser to the Scottish Parliament's equality and human rights committee.

The park authority says it is working to finalise its next five-year National Park Partnership Plan - and a key focus will be improving access to nature for everyone, including under-represented groups. They will also look at barriers, such as limited public transport to and within the park.

Mr Lee's appointment follows the recent naming of Stirling Council's leader, Councillor Chris Kane, as a new local authority member of the board.

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Mr Lee said: “I am really looking forward to joining the board and working with both staff and board members to provide my personal and professional experience of racism, which I hope will help the organisation in its work to make inclusion and diversity integral to the future of the National Park, particularly in the delivery of the upcoming National Park Partnership Plan.”

Councillor Kane said: “This is an exciting time to join the National Park Authority Board. Scotland’s National Parks clearly have an important role to play in the country’s journey to net zero and in tackling big issues such as nature loss and what a transition to a greener economy looks like for residents and businesses in the area.

“I look forward to being a part of the Park’s future and ensuring that it’s a future that delivers for climate, nature and for the people who work, live and visit this special place.”

Dr Heather Reid, convener of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, added: “Colin and Chris join our board at a crucial time for the National Park.

"As we develop our next National Park Partnership Plan, we know that a step change will be required in the work that the Park Authority and our partners deliver to tackle the climate and nature crises being felt here in Scotland and across the world.

“We are also keen to ensure that the myriad of benefits that people experience when they have access to green spaces such as the National Park can be enjoyed by a wide and diverse range of people and we will be working to ensure the National Park – and the National Park Authority – are diverse and inclusive places.

"National parks can contribute significantly to Scotland’s efforts to restore nature, tackle climate change and have greener economic growth and I look forward to working with Colin, Chris and our existing board members to shape that contribution.”