Plan sets out five-year vision for national park

National Park Partnership Plan Consultation Launch at Callander Youth Project. Pictured L to R Gill Walker (National Park Ranger) , Andy Biddulph (Modern Apprentice at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park) , Gordon Watson , Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, James Stuart (Convener of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park) , Ben Anderson (Modern Apprentice at Callander Youth Project) , Jamie Proudfoot ( Senior Youth Worker at Callander Youth Project) in front of Ben Ledi. They are all reading a copy of the draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018 - 2023. www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/NPPP Photograph by Martin Shields Tel 07572 457000 www.martinshields.com © Martin Shields

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The public are being invited to have their say on a five-year plan to widen the social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

The draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 sets out a broad-ranging vision for how the park authority, along with its partners, proposes to tackle priorities including youth employment, climate change, outdoor recreation, health and wellbeing, and investment in towns and villages.

A 12-week consultation on the draft plan started on Monday April 10 and will run until Monday July 3.

Priorities set out in the draft plan include attracting and retaining more skilled working age and young people, supporting a thriving visitor economy, addressing the impacts of climate change, empowering communities, protecting natural resources, investing in built and historic environments, and getting more people to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of connecting with nature and the outdoors.

The plan is the first major piece of work led by the new convener of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, James Stuart, who is also managing director of Entrepreneurial Scotland.

He said: ‘The national park is a truly special place and this plan proposes how we, along with a wide range of other organisations, can work together over the next five years to look after, enhance and make the most of it. By working collaboratively with all of our partners, we can achieve a much greater impact.

‘The focus is on big priorities for action that are most likely to make a lasting difference to the area, its communities, the people who visit and to the Scottish economy.

‘This is an exciting time for the national park and we want people to get involved in planning the future of the area by telling us what they think of the vision set out in this draft plan.’

Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, said: ‘There is already some great work being undertaken within the national park to provide young people with opportunities to gain valuable skills and experience to support their future employment.

‘We want to build on that by working closely with our partners to broaden that range of opportunities, whether it’s through training, volunteering, modern apprenticeships and employment so that young people growing up in the national park aren’t missing out on the opportunities that those living in more urban areas have access to.

‘We are confident that this, along with measures to address the lack of affordable housing options and efforts to protect and enhance local services and infrastructure, will ensure a bright future for young people living and working within the national park.’

To read the draft plan and respond to the consultation visit www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/consultations.