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Funding boost for Scottish national parks

Posted 28 June 2012
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Funding boost for Scottish national parks
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Scotland's national parks are to receive extra funding, in contrast with the cuts faced by their English and Welsh counterparts.

The Scottish government has announced a raft of new spending, claiming the austerity measures introduced at Westminster are not working economically.

And the cash includes £1 million for visitor facilities in national parks and on Forestry Commission land.

Such money has been welcomed by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, which will receive £488,000 of it.

The good news for those who like to go walking in the area is that much of this will go on new footpaths, with the authority stating that £223,000 will be spent on creating a range of new paths in locations such as Carr-Bridge, Kingussie, Bellabeg, Braemar and Glen Clova.

Senior outdoor access officer at the authority Bob Grant said: "Providing better paths increases the economic potential of communities, helps land managers and provides attractive places for people to walk, run, cycle and horse ride so this is a very welcome announcement."

Other cash will go towards a new visitor information centre at Boat of Garten, while those heading to the Cairngorms with their fishing tackle may be delighted by news of work to improve water quality and carry out other important work on two tributaries of the River Dulnain.

Those who like to visit the Cairngorms may find the new developments enhance their experience of a national park that is over twice the size of any other in the UK, following last year's extension southwards into Perthshire.

Home to five of Britain's six highest mountains, much of its scenery and biodiversity is unique in the UK, from the sub-arctic tundra of the high plateau to the unique forms of fungi found nowhere in Britain except one patch close to the River Dee near the former Iverey Youth Hostel.

The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority has yet to publicly announce how it will spend its extra money.