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Some thoughts following the Consultants Appraisal. Any submission to Scot. Gov. does of course need to underpin some economic growth and employment benefits - that is fully disclosed in the Strategy doc. However what are we trying to create here? We are wanting to preserve a unique part of Scotland for a variety of reasons, not least the geography and biodiversity - much of this is important because it has not historically been exploited. The dangers are that we go beyond an area of natural beauty and simply create an overcrowded playground for tourists with all the collateral damage that brings, and costs to existing householders to sustain this.

It has to be slow progress involving the improvement of existing infrastructure - Border Railway is a prime example . Road improvements to the major arterial links bring additional issues - more traffic - more commuters - higher house prices and household spend concentrated in larger urban areas which become more accessible e.g. Midlothian. We need to see SBNP assist and underpin the strategic requirements of existing businesses as a first step - providing attractive working conditions to keep local employment and encourage incomers/entrepreneurs.

Statistics reveal a high percentage of older age groups - we may not be able to materially change that certainly in the medium term - this has to be a common issue to other rural areas. That is not to say that a SBNP can not play a major part in making the Borders an attractive area for retirement . This could encourage creative Care Home projects linked to sporting activities and mental stimulation through historical, social and learning activities. An ageing population is not unique to the Borders.

Everyone is not going to be satisfied whatever the outcome - there are always too many interested groups of people - but good corporate governance and a diversified/representative Board to administer the SBNP should help to bring everyone together - this is well highlighted in the document.

The big dangers are a big commitment of funding centrally which finds its way into projects which are not long term sustainable. While difficult to administer a case by case approach will allow a more concentrated appraisal of individual businesses and projects leading to successful outcomes. Conservation and Preservation may be a big funding project at the outset given the very nature of the Border country.

We are not going to build overnight a new local economy (industrial or rural) - nor do I think we should, with all the inherent dangers of creating larger urban areas in the country. Tourism will be and will remain the lifeblood of the Borders - how much do we need? In addition as the infrastructure improves - whether it be rail or road-the area will attract a bigger commuter population with all the well debated issues around where they spend their incomes.

The very creation of a SBNP will in a sense provide a further branding to the Borders, even if this simply confirms the historical, cultural and geographical significance of the area - if you like it will create the overall umbrella needed to harness and further develop all the existing and start up businesses within it. Thats a relatively low cost start point.

James Oliver - 28 November 2017

Creating more National Parks in Scotland reduces the amount of land available for wind farms. Unlikely that the Scottish Government will allow that to happen. Borders, I would keep a low profile if I were you. Making a fuss will only attract the wind power carpetbaggers to your area.

Alec Young - 18 November 2017

Why is the forgotten area of Berwickshire not being included in any discussion. I am 77 years old, and I have often said that the East corner where we are is invisible. We have plenty of history - The Covenanters, a period that is sung about in folk music because it was so important an event in the history of Scotland, a turning point even. This is only one of the significant events in our lower Eastern Borders. We have beautiful countryside, to compete with any part of our Scotland. Large Historic Houses etc. I could go on, but I will prepare a more inclusive argument, for our area in time.

Ramsay Brack - 18 November 2017

Brilliant idea for Scottish Borders, a forgotten part of Scotland. Our area has literally hundreds of historical places, places of beauty and things to do.
A National Park would invigorate our area and bring it to the notice of the greater UK public. It is a place travellers "pass through" on their way to "Scotland" ie Edinburgh and the North.
Get them to STOP and see the delights and taste the produce.

May Kinghorn - 10 October 2017

The boundary should be revised to take in the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys and upper Tweeddale. A finger corridor should remain outside the park including Galashiels, Selkirk and Hawick to allow industrial development.

David Steel - 26 September 2017

Firstly, this would increase rents, which is a very bad move. Secondly, a lot of the land is farmland. Why would people want to visit a park that is just farms? If you want to attract tourists, build something touristy, don't just rename someone's house and fields as a park. It's lazy and doesn't do anything.
Fix the roads, extend the railway, and clean up the towns, then you might get more visitors.

Allen Clark - 15 September 2017

Borders National Park is OK with me. If I was to suggest another it would be Eildon National Park for two reasons; it's the biggest natural landmark in the Borders, and most of the National Park can viewed from it, weather premitting.
This region is often forgotten by the central belt population of Scotland and offers beautiful scenery. The Eildon Hills, in my opinion, have all the elements of a World Heritage Site. It has the largest Bronze Age hill fort settlement in Scotland. Between 3000 and 6000 people lived on the hills around 1000AD and it had Roman military settlements below it in the 1st Century.
Already the view from Galashiels has been ruined by house building on its lower levels the whole area needs protection for future generations. GOOD LUCK with the campaign and I hope our voices are heard.

Paul Robertson - 14 July 2017

Stephen Gibson's suggestion for a name - The Middle March National Park, is logical and accurate but I believe that, if we want ALL of the Scottish Borders area to benefit as much as possible from the Park and its proximity, then the only logical name is 'The Scottish Borders National Park'. Pembrokeshire National Park does not cover all of that county, but service and accommodation providers in the part of the county outside the Park boundaries report that they benefit because visitors don't particularly care if their bed for the night, or their fuel and food stops, shopping trips etc are actually in or outside the boundary.

Malcolm Dickson - 14 June 2017

The park would be situated mainly in the old middle march. The Middle March National Park would be a suitable name

Stephen Gibson - 26 May 2017

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