Recent floods show action on climate change essential for future of the National Park, says Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority.

The recent flood events that affected communities across the National Park were a stark reminder that climate change is already having an impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

More than ever before, it is clear that collective action is required to reshape the Park as a climate-resilient place where people and nature thrive together.

There are already excellent examples of community groups, schools, individuals and businesses playing their part to tackle climate change and nature loss here in the National Park.

A tree planting project recently supported pupils from 11 schools within the National Park to work with Park Rangers and create small areas of woodland in their school grounds.

In Strathfillan to the north of the National Park, a specialist plant nursery has been created so that tens of thousands of locally collected seeds can be reared and eventually planted out across the landscape, expanding native woodlands and creating wildlife corridors.

The National Park Authority itself has committed to becoming a Net Zero organisation by 2030 and a range of measures is being employed to reduce our emissions, including solar panels at visitor facilities, air source heat pumps and transforming the vehicle fleet used by Park Rangers away from fossil fuels.

The scale and urgency of the climate and nature crises are the main drivers for the next five-year plan for the National Park, the National Park Partnership Plan.

The views of people who live in, work in and visit the Park are being incorporated into that plan, which aims to secure a positive, sustainable future for the area.

During a consultation between April and July this year, local residents, businesses and community groups shared their views on the National Park’s future. This included key issues such as nature restoration, land use change, transport, jobs and housing.

All the feedback received will be used to inform the final National Park Partnership Plan which will be presented to the National Park Authority Board in December for approval, before being submitted to Scottish Ministers.

We look forward to sharing that final plan with communities and visitors in Spring 2024 – and to coming together to restore nature, tackle climate change and ensure greener economic growth for the National Park.

More information about the upcoming National Park Partnership Plan can be found online at . Hard copies are available to view at Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway in Balloch and Balmaha Visitor Centre.