Councillor suggests new national park in Fife

With its stunning coastline and picturesque villages, the East Neuk attracts tourists from around the world.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:46 pm
Elie and Earlsferry.

And now a local councillor wants to open up a conversation about whether or not the East Neuk should seek to become a national park.

Scotland currently has two national parks – Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorms – and NatureScot, Scotland’s nature agency, says no further national parks have been proposed for Scotland. However, the Scottish Campaign for National Parks is pushing for more national parks in Scotland.

The suggestion is due to be explored at the next East Neuk Community Forum, which takes place on April 7 over Zoom. John Mayhew, director of the Association for the Protection for Rural Scotland, will be speaking at the meeting, discussing the benefits and disadvantages of being a national park.

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Cllr Bill Porteous, who wants to open up the conversation, suggests the national park would cover from Earlsferry, along the coast up to Kingsbarns, down across to Largoward and back towards the coastline.

"Since I became a councillor a number of people have spoken to me about it – business owners, landowners, locals,” said Cllr Porteous.

"As the pandemic worsened and we started to localise, unable to leave our local areas, it made me think that we needed to start the conversation. I think it meets the aims of what a national park should be.”

The aims of a national park is to: conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area; promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area; promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public; and promote sustainable economic and social development of the areas' communities.

Cllr Porteous said the change could help bring more funding to the area and create employment.

He added: “I want to start the conversation. I can see the pluses and the minuses. It’s a positive conversation amongst the communities.

"John will give us a clue as to the next steps. But people are starting to talk about it.”

To get a link to the meeting, email [email protected]