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Your Comments

Really supportive of the idea of a national park. I'd like to add my weight to the request for Selkirk and the Ettrick Valley to be included. Selkirk really needs some help - it should be part of the cycling scene (like Innerleithen) and the roads in the valley are perfect for that. I'm a latecomer to the debate so I'm sure this has already been covered but I'm guessing cycling must be a candidate for a key attraction in a national park? Thanks

Sue Briggs - 20 April 2017

I think this is a fantastic initiative, but it would be great to see the boundary ambitions increased somewhat. It seems that inclusion of the Eskdalemuir, Ettrick and Yarrow region would increase the area dramatically and include arguably the most beautiful yet undiscovered parts of the Borders. I can understand that this may cause issues with industrial towns such as Hawick and Selkirk being included, but surely they can be ringfenced in any final designation. Failing that, drawing a line from North of Hawick to Robertson and then across to Yarrow and down the valley and around the South side of Selkirk would be a way of getting at least some of this scenery included. Hopefully the Duke of Buccleuch would be supportive!

Rory Steel - 26 March 2017

Please explore Selkirkshire, Ettrick, Yarrow and Upper Tweed Valleys - they simply can not be ignored along with their significant natural landmarks and historical references. Without them it is not a Borders National Park.

Louis Marston - 23 March 2017

The only question that remains and should make any Scottish government hang its head in shame whatever their political motivation - is why has this not been mooted before this? In planning speak we are all 'third parties'. Any member of the public that is. The only say we have is during elections. That is not what democracy is. We are the body that government works for and it is we who will shape the future.

Simon Blackwood - 13 March 2017

I understand your case for creating a National Park in the south east of the Scottish Borders but surely there is also a case for the creation of a National Park for Peeblesshire and the upper Tweed valley. Unfortunately I imagine that there are certain criteria that the countryside designated National Park has to fulfill and it may be that there are now too many windfarms, housing and business developments in Peeblesshire to satisfy these. However I note that in the United States some of the national parks have enclaves within them where certain development is permitted. Could we not argue the case for creating a National Park from the entire Scottish Borders with the more industrialised towns such as Galashiels, Hawick and Peebles as permitted development enclaves?

Amanda Kubie - 23 February 2017

I recently attended a meeting to discuss a proposed walking trail along the Tweed River, and during the discussion it became apparent that "Tweed" would be instantly recognisable as a "brand" for the region as a whole. By comparison, a colleague had previously made the point that the "Scottish Borders" is far too generic to have any real meaning for most people. I do recognise that it is the Teviot rather than the Tweed which is at the core of the area currently proposed, but as noted the final boundary will probably be very different, and I did see another comment suggesting it should include the upper Tweed valley of Peebleshire. In any case this could be covered by the formal name being "Tweed Rivers" or "Tweed Valley" or "Tweed and Teviot" National Park. I do think there is a very significant opportunity for a coordinated visitor marketing campaign with the Tweed as its USP, and given the aims of the national park proposal I would strongly encourage this broader idea to be considered. Its also worth mentioning that the top end of the Northumberland National Park around Wooler is within the Tweed catchment.

Ranald Boydell - 20 February 2017

James Oliver's comments of 29th January are very useful. As one of the scoping group I can report that we are thinking along the same lines. We've been in touch with and met some people affected by the Cairngorms Park, as well as the Loch Lomond and Trossachs and Northumberland Park. We're beginning to realise that one of the unique characteristics of our area is its cultural history, right up to the present day. And as for the economic case, although we have some broad brush calculation on this website in the Review Papers tab, we have now commissioned a Feasibility Study from an independent, professional consultancy which has experience in conservation, land management and National Parks elsewhere. Keep the comments coming though - even though we don't respond to all, you can be sure that we read them all and take them on board.

Malcolm Dickson - 2nd February 2017

Scotlands largest National Park is in the Cairngorms and may serve as a useful reference point in any debate about the creation of BNP. This is a huge opportunity to galvanise a number of businesses (I include importantly small craft businesses) manufacturers, the leisure industry, together with communities to create co-operation and the promotion of a Park which will not just create new sustainable businesses but enhance those already in existence. The backdrop is a largely unspoilt part of Scotland with an enthralling history, famous fishing rivers, abundance of wildlife set in awesome scenery.

We have to determine what are the foundations to this National Park - what is special about the Borders and what needs to be conserved.

My concern would be that small business owners through lack of capital might be squeezed out by larger BNP operators - there has to be an inclusive and collaborative approach. The truth is that most of the funding will be eaten up in employee wages, admin and planning with of course Learning and Understanding being an important cost and Conservation. The direction of this Funding and how it is allocated is vital. This could all determine what is a 'manageable area for the Park'.

There is a real opportunity here and has my total support.

James Oliver - 29 January 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

As one of the group of people proposing this idea I feel that it's really great that people outside the suggested boundary are making valid claims for including other parts of the Scottish Borders in the National Park. The areas suggested are certainly worthy of inclusion on so many counts. We are not wedded to the position of the boundaries, they are just a starting point. However, the area as shown is about average for a UK NP, a bit bigger than Northumberland NP, a bit smaller than the present Scottish NPs. Our guess is that it will be easier to gain official acceptance if it is not too extensive. We note that the Scottish NPs and a number of English NPs have recently been extended, after they were set up, in response to well-argued local demands. The most challenging part has been getting the initial designation. Whatever happens, the name 'Scottish Borders National Park' should ensure that all parts of the Borders benefit from the marketing impetus, as has happened elsewhere in the UK.

Malcolm Dickson - 29 April 2017

Really supportive of the idea of a national park. I'd like to add my weight to the request for Selkirk and the Ettrick Valley to be included. Selkirk really needs some help - it should be part of the cycling scene (like Innerleithen) and the roads in the valley are perfect for that. I'm a latecomer to the debate so I'm sure this has already been covered but I'm guessing cycling must be a candidate for a key attraction in a national park? Thanks

Sue Briggs - 20 April 2017

I think this is a fantastic initiative, but it would be great to see the boundary ambitions increased somewhat. It seems that inclusion of the Eskdalemuir, Ettrick and Yarrow region would increase the area dramatically and include arguably the most beautiful yet undiscovered parts of the Borders. I can understand that this may cause issues with industrial towns such as Hawick and Selkirk being included, but surely they can be ringfenced in any final designation. Failing that, drawing a line from North of Hawick to Robertson and then across to Yarrow and down the valley and around the South side of Selkirk would be a way of getting at least some of this scenery included. Hopefully the Duke of Buccleuch would be supportive!

Rory Steel - 26 March 2017

Please explore Selkirkshire, Ettrick, Yarrow and Upper Tweed Valleys - they simply can not be ignored along with their significant natural landmarks and historical references. Without them it is not a Borders National Park.

Louis Marston - 23 March 2017

The only question that remains and should make any Scottish government hang its head in shame whatever their political motivation - is why has this not been mooted before this? In planning speak we are all 'third parties'. Any member of the public that is. The only say we have is during elections. That is not what democracy is. We are the body that government works for and it is we who will shape the future.

Simon Blackwood - 13 March 2017

I understand your case for creating a National Park in the south east of the Scottish Borders but surely there is also a case for the creation of a National Park for Peeblesshire and the upper Tweed valley. Unfortunately I imagine that there are certain criteria that the countryside designated National Park has to fulfill and it may be that there are now too many windfarms, housing and business developments in Peeblesshire to satisfy these. However I note that in the United States some of the national parks have enclaves within them where certain development is permitted. Could we not argue the case for creating a National Park from the entire Scottish Borders with the more industrialised towns such as Galashiels, Hawick and Peebles as permitted development enclaves?

Amanda Kubie - 23 February 2017

I recently attended a meeting to discuss a proposed walking trail along the Tweed River, and during the discussion it became apparent that "Tweed" would be instantly recognisable as a "brand" for the region as a whole. By comparison, a colleague had previously made the point that the "Scottish Borders" is far too generic to have any real meaning for most people. I do recognise that it is the Teviot rather than the Tweed which is at the core of the area currently proposed, but as noted the final boundary will probably be very different, and I did see another comment suggesting it should include the upper Tweed valley of Peebleshire. In any case this could be covered by the formal name being "Tweed Rivers" or "Tweed Valley" or "Tweed and Teviot" National Park. I do think there is a very significant opportunity for a coordinated visitor marketing campaign with the Tweed as its USP, and given the aims of the national park proposal I would strongly encourage this broader idea to be considered. Its also worth mentioning that the top end of the Northumberland National Park around Wooler is within the Tweed catchment.

Ranald Boydell - 20 February 2017

James Oliver's comments of 29th January are very useful. As one of the scoping group I can report that we are thinking along the same lines. We've been in touch with and met some people affected by the Cairngorms Park, as well as the Loch Lomond and Trossachs and Northumberland Park. We're beginning to realise that one of the unique characteristics of our area is its cultural history, right up to the present day. And as for the economic case, although we have some broad brush calculation on this website in the Review Papers tab, we have now commissioned a Feasibility Study from an independent, professional consultancy which has experience in conservation, land management and National Parks elsewhere. Keep the comments coming though - even though we don't respond to all, you can be sure that we read them all and take them on board.

Malcolm Dickson - 2nd February 2017

Scotlands largest National Park is in the Cairngorms and may serve as a useful reference point in any debate about the creation of BNP. This is a huge opportunity to galvanise a number of businesses (I include importantly small craft businesses) manufacturers, the leisure industry, together with communities to create co-operation and the promotion of a Park which will not just create new sustainable businesses but enhance those already in existence. The backdrop is a largely unspoilt part of Scotland with an enthralling history, famous fishing rivers, abundance of wildlife set in awesome scenery.

We have to determine what are the foundations to this National Park - what is special about the Borders and what needs to be conserved.

My concern would be that small business owners through lack of capital might be squeezed out by larger BNP operators - there has to be an inclusive and collaborative approach. The truth is that most of the funding will be eaten up in employee wages, admin and planning with of course Learning and Understanding being an important cost and Conservation. The direction of this Funding and how it is allocated is vital. This could all determine what is a 'manageable area for the Park'.

There is a real opportunity here and has my total support.

James Oliver - 29 January 2017

I am really glad that you included Newcastleton. It is often overlooked and offers great potential for accessing Newcastleton Forest via new foot bridge for both walkers and mountain bikers (7 Staines trails).

Why can't the moorland due east of A7 at Langholm not be included? There has been a lot of grant aid spent around Tarras Water for moorland conservation in particular wrt hen harrier habitat. Including this land in the Park should ensure that the conservation effort continues.

Keep it simple! Scottish Borders National Park has my vote. This area of Scotland is little known, especially in England so needs to be easily identifiable from the name. Other suggestion? Scottish Marches National Park. Its a bit less boring and invites people to explore the meaning of the word "Marches"and its cultural history.

Steve Martin - 15 January 2017

As Curator of Ferniehirst Castle, 'The Border Fortress' I consider a Scottish Border National Park the best way forward to encourage the protection of our unique wild places while having a real platform to promote the history and heritage of the Scottish Borderland.

Bob Lawson - 10 December 2016

I was born and bred in Hawick but have lived in Edinburgh and London since leaving when I was 18. I return twice a year to see my parents and have become increasingly depressed at the state of the High Street, despite the building of the Heart of Hawick, which is excellent. Anything that builds interest in the Borders must be good, there are so many things, like Fatlips Castle, that so much more could be made of. Hermitage is one of the spookiest places in Britian, yet so little is made of it.

Lorraine Marshall - 28 November 2016

Having attended the meeting in Jedburgh about this last week I think that a national park in the borders would be wonderful. None of the naysayers can identify any specific reasons against; it is clear from what we heard that there are many more opportunities than limitations involved. And it would be a really dynamic move from an area which is not noted for such moves. We were too slow to get the train; don't let's be too slow to get a national park!

Dinah Illius - 23 November 2016

It is extremely disappointing that the proposed boundaries for the National Park does not include the most dramatic valley in the Borders - The Ettrick Valley.

Donald Macleod - 22 November 2016

The Tweed should be included from Kelso to the Anglo-Scottish border at the Redden Burn near Carham.

Rannoch Daly - 21 November 2016

For the reasons outlined, Scottish Borders National Park is the simplest and best. However, Scottish Borders is an administrative entity which is larger than the proposed park. What about dropping the "s" and having The Scottish Border National Park?

Sandy Irvine - 17 November 2016

Why not include Upper Tweeddale. Its so beautiful and unspoiled. Peebles wants to be in!

Sandy Goodwill - 16 November 2016

Although the area is not within the Scottish Borders Local Authority Area, the area around Langholm and up towards Eskdalemuir has strong ties culturally to the Borders and has some stunning countryside that would be worthwhile protecting. On a personal level I would be supportive of the suggested boundary to be extended southwest to cover Eskdale and the Ewes Valley.

I would add to the above that both of Scotland's existing national parks, the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, have boundaries that cross local authority borders, so I hope although the above areas are in Dumfries and Galloway they can still be considered.

Sean McCay - 16 November 2016

Hello, I moved to Jedburgh on 27th March. I moved here because it is so beautiful - I had never heard of it before I passed through en route to a job interview in Kelso. I am really keen on the National Park idea and I am very enthusiastic about this whole area - for me it is the most beautiful place on earth and the folk here the friendliest I had met (Southern America trades on its Southern friendliness and welcome - perhaps we could use this?)

Anyhow I have been and am depressed by how the heart/life and industry has left the area, and could threaten its future if we don’t get some vibrancy back. I am desperately hoping we can get the word out how special this area is and bring people to the area and new business and ideas.

I moved up from Shropshire and before coming to live I had always seen the Borders as a place you pass through to get to the big tourism places in Scotland - I think this is a common thing - I think just the word Borders is bad PR as it indicated we are on periphery of something better! Anyway, I am fascinated and excited by the idea, and any idea that may bring tourism and make the area thrive once more. I am keen to be kept up to date on developments.

I also have idea that we need more 'culture' here such as good theatre- our Abbey is spectacular and would be great backdrop for live theatre - historic theatre - Mary Queen of Scots - I am thinking of Ludlow Castle and Shakespeare - that was very popular, as are their food festivals.

Violet Rose - 14 November 2016

National Park status for the Scottish Borders would provide a much needed boost to the local economy. One glaring omission though - Coldstream!

Malanie Marlowe - 10 November 2016

Excellent idea. You have the full support of our small tourist business in Minto. Townhead Steading Holiday Cottages

Kevan Perrins - 7 November 2016

Mr Upton makes a valid point about farming and I fully agree that the Scottish Borders is a working landscape, largely maintained by the farming industry. As someone descended from generations of Borders farmers dating back at least 300 years, I am more than aware of these issues. However, I am sure that this National Park will learn from the mistakes made elsewhere. And farmers can actually gain from being situated within a National Park - for instance, use of an internationally recognised brand when promoting agricultural produce. As a member of the scoping group you can be sure I will be promoting farming interests at every opportunity.

Malcolm Dickson - 7 November 2016

I have considerable experience of dealing with a national park organisation and know only too well of the many problems caused to the residents, particularly the farming community, in several areas but particularly planning matters.Most of the problems were due to urban people on the park committee who seemed to think that the park should be maintained as a museum for tourists to visit. The beauty of the countryside is due in large extent to the farming community and they must be assured that their livelihoods will not be damaged by wrong thinking townspeople. I sincerely hope that in the event the proposal comes to fruition this state of affairs would not manifest itself but I do have serious doubts based on my many years of experiencing such problems.

Edward Upton - 6 November 2016

For me it should be called the Scottish Borders National Park. I admit it's not exciting, but the Scottish Borders has an identity crisis. We within the Scottish Borders, too often refer to it as the Borders. But every time we do this we are diluting the brand. The Borders is The Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Dumfries & Galloway and Cumbria. Every time we say Borders, we are promoting all four counties and not defining ourselves as anything unique. Let's get The Scottish Borders on the map!!

Giles Etherington - 3 November 2016

The proposed area should be expanded to include all of the ancient county of Roxburghshire. THE name ROXBURGHSHIRE NATIONAL PARK seems by far the best. Apposite, historical and charming. Everything Scottish Borders National Park is not. Scottish BNP. Imagine the use by detractors.

Jeff Kelly - 29 October 2016

Boundary issues.

The eastern boundary of the proposed Park should follow the Anglo- Scottish Border Line from Kirk Yetholm past Sprouston to the Tweed. A footpath could be adopted along this Border Line extending the Pennine Way to the Tweed.

Via Tweedside eastwards this short extension to the Pennine Way could then connect with the Northumberland & Berwickshire Coastal Paths. Via Tweedside westwards past Kelso a path could connect with other path networks such as the Southern Upland Way & St Cuthbert's Way.

This simple joining up of paths would put a Borders National Park at the centre of the National Park system - at least as far as walkers are concerned

David Welsh - 29 October 2016

Excellent idea! However you will not gain my support by excluding the Tweed Valley. This is a mistake! Innerleithen, Walkerburn and indeed Pebbles have major historical significance and Innerleithen and Glentress particular have already done so much to highlight the activities available in the region. ' Tweed Valley National Park' anyone?

John Matthews - 19 October 2016

I think the idea of a Borders National park is a great idea. I think it could work to the benefit of the borders by bringing visitors and protecting areas of natural beauty. Have only had a quick look at the proposals but I think the area mapped out would be very suitable. 1 question, could Hawick be included ? 1 point to make, Border's National park acronym is BNP...small point but one to think about.

Stuart Dalgleish - 17 October 2016

Surely the borders covers East to West whereas the proposed park boundary does not. Why not use the old boundaries of the old Marches then extend North slightly. The Tweed and Etterick valleys should be included.

Norman Walter - 16 October 2016

Excellent idea. I trust that the environmental aspects will include geo-conservation. After all it is the geology that makes landscapes!

Andrew Highton - 12 October 2016

Hi, we are the owners of a small boutique hotel just North of Peebles. We think that the proposed boundary is a complete disaster; a missed opportunity. I think it should be called the Tweeddale National Park and include the whole of the catchment area of the Tweed. Tweed is a much better name than Borders NP, as Tweed is much better known throughout the world; indeed on our many sales trips to the US we found exactly that: Borders get a shrug of the shoulders, but mentioning Tweed causes immediate recognition and enthusiasm.

Jacob van Houdt - 12 October 2016

Governance of a Borders National Park

Graham Barrows estimate for the financial grant for a Borders park seems to relates to an area originally known as the Cheviots, (adjacent to the Northumberland National Park) and which is a considerably smaller area than that proposed for a Borders National Park (BNP).

Although the proposed BNP has a considerable number of hamlets and villages they are more in number than the area of the Cheviots . It also has ,either within or as gateway, some 7 large towns.

[A town may be defines as having a defined boundary, shopping facilities, often one or more churches, local government etc; a village is smaller than a town with perhaps a general shop and often a church; a hamlet is smaller than a village often without a shop or church.]

Perhaps the Cheviots would be more suited to scenario (a) as there is a smaller number of hamlets,villages, and towns as opposed to the much larger area of the BNP. I would therefore see scenario (b) being more suited to the BNP.

However, I am a little sceptical of such a large area having complete control of planning as it would effectively displace the current planning department of the Scottish Borders Council and would place a heavy financial burden upon the park. I think some sort of compromise situation might be in order whereby the planning policy of the park be given credence within the SBC planning policy so that unwanted or unsuitable schemes would not get permission to go ahead.

Other benefits such as tourism development, agricultural and forestry, recreational development, cultural heritage and landscape preservation could all play an important part in the economic development of the whole area.

Peter Hincks - 24 September 2016

There is much of Borders beauty in the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys, may I suggest stretching the solid red line on the West and North of the boundary map to include the land and forests up to and including St Mary's Loch.

Peter Lawton - 7 September 2016

There could be many benefits to a Scottish Borders National Park if it encouraged recreational sports such as walking, cycling and particularly riding which has such a historical connection with the area and is arguably the best way to appreciate the Borders landscape.

Helen Hastings - 30 August 2016

Excellent idea and one that should be wholeheartedly supported by all Borders based businesses.

Nick Bannerman - 29 August 2016

Following a Newcastleton and District CC meeting at which the proposed National Park was discussed, the Secretary has asked that these comments be published here. We are happy to oblige.

1/ One member felt the boundary should be redrawn to cut off the bottom part (including Newcastleton) because a lot of the land there is given over to forest. It should be taken west, to include Morebattle, Yetholm and Kelso, then north of Hawick and across country as far as Peebles.

2/ There are concerns that national park status would lead to greater restrictions - as has been the case in other national parks, and members would like more information on this.

19 June 2016

Hawick and the Borthwick valley and Selkirk and the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys must be included.

Ian Landles - 18 June 2016

I have been fortunate to have received a Nuffield Scholarship (many moons ago!) to explore on a worldwide basis the benefits of a Machinery Ring organisation exemplified by Borders Machinery Ring (BMR) www.ringleader.co.uk which I helped set up in 1987. This co-operative is there to assist members offset their business and/or private costs by arranging optional bulk buying purchases and arranging payment via an automatic tried, tested and proven automatic DD and ACP system. Founded in Bavaria, this set up has also included Tourism in its development. An associated business, Borders Sports Ring or similar body can be set up to assist Tourism business costs and provide a growing marketing base along with similar already in place bodies. Tourism and Renewables are the Growing Industries in the Borders. Both can feature in further promoting what we had, have and can provide in the Future. Either vote in the upcoming EU Referendum can become involved in such a growing Tourist Opportunity which the Borders National park exemplifies.

Alastair G Cranston - 18 June 2016

Can see some advantages but also some significant down sides. National parks are generally more restrictive on planning and this in turn increases house prices and restricts supply which cannot be good for the average borderer. Also whilst Kelso is probably the most beautiful town in the Borders and tourism is a major employer it also has industry a national park would be likely to see future development reduced. As such I would prefer to see the boundary to the West of Kelso.

Harry Tomczyk - 16 June 2016

It worries me that the onus is on the landscape and not necessarily the rural communities that live within it. Especially in the hill country some of the problem is the lack of opportunity for work which comes from depopulation and disappearance of the farms under acres of sitka spruce (forestry) and grant driven hardwood plantations. There seems to be no saturation point. This upland hill has historically been for sheep and the people who look after them and made up the local community. At least you can farm sheep under wind turbines even if they are not very beautiful. Might a National Park create just another body of rule makers to work through if there is any suggestion of development? If it can stop the remaining landscape being buried under more acres of commercial planting then I am all for it.

Margaret Eliot - 27 April 2016

APRS, in its well considered paper, has already recommended that part of bordering Galloway and that the Cheviots (as an extension of the Northumberland National Park) be given National Park Status. The proposed Borders Park boundary merely extends the geographic area of the Cheviots for consideration. The substantive rationale for carrying on with a much more exhaustive review for a Borders National Park is therefore clear.

We constantly hear from our guests from all parts of the UK and the world, who are introduced to the Borders by us, that they knew nothing about the wealth of natural beauty which surrounds us...and they unanimously go away singing the praise of the Borders. The issue is not that we have all the attributes which justify National Park status, but that no one is aware of what we have... we seem to be out-of-sight, out-of-mind to everyone.

This initiative will require significant committed work and consideration of many diverse opinions over a lot of time, but the potential for positive outcomes is huge....and the concept well deserves being pursued.

I also suggest heeding the words of John Muir - "I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in" and William Shakespeare - "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin".

John Scott - 21 February 2016

I do not think that the Scottish Borders National Park is plain vanilla, it is far more identifiable that all the other proposed names. Tourists all refer to the area as the Borders and not Roxburghshire and as you want to attract tourism, that should be the name. Keep it simple.

Bernard Thear - 16 February 2016

I note that one of the three conditions in the relevant Act for an area to be designated as a national park is: "(b) that the area has a distinctive character and a coherent identity". For that reason I think that the ancient county of Roxburghshire is worthy of serious consideration. However, 'Roxburghshire National Park' may not roll off the tongue as well as 'The National Park of Roxburghshire'. Alternatively some thought might be given to 'Lower Teviotdale', but then Liddesdale is also included in the suggested area.

Malcolm Dickson - 5 February 2016

This is a hopeful and courageous initiative. Our beautiful area of the countryside and our communities need defenders with new ideas for appropriate regeneration and environmental care. Current economic circumstances can only improve with the possibilities for growth which National Park status will provide.

Fear of change and the comfort of clinging to the old ways should not hold back carefully planned and advantageous progress.

Increased tourism will bring new opportunities for work as well as new people to "boost" our communities with their skills and energy: economic and social benefits will result.

In particular Newcastleton and Liddesdale will gain prestige and recognition as the southern "gateway" to the Park.

There will be potential for new services to be developed. Welcome and Information centres can be created ... catering establishments, gift stores and galleries can open to a revitalised local market and increased tourist trade. Local producers can find a new marketing identity with the Park cachet and new leisure activities can be promoted in this lovely landscape.

As well there is the possibility to work in partnership with the Forestry Commission to design pathways and recreational sites and develop greater environmental control of our hills.

This is a tremendous opportunity to seize ... one which will revitalise optimism and confidence in the future prosperity and protection of this unique region.

Penny Scott - 1 February 2016

I approve the proposal to make the Borders into a National Park as not least to prevent the proliferation of windmills, and the indiscriminate building of new housing estates. It may also encourage more walkers and cyclists to the region.

A Jessamy Pears

I agree with the comment about excluding the west: perhaps 'nudge' the boundary a little to take in the Teviot Valley and the Tarras Valley and surrounding hills.

Bruce McCartney - 25 January 2016

A very interesting idea. However the other two parks have attracted some adverse publicity and we would need to be reassured as to the benefits. The present map poses a number of questions. Is the park for the Cheviots? If so why so much hinterland to the north. Is it for the rural areas? If so why not include Ettrick and Yarrow. This needs to be explored much further.

Re. the section describing the Special qualities of the Scottish Borders, it might be worth quoting some lines from Borders poet Will H Ogilvie. He, more than anyone else, captures the essence of the Borders in his poetry.

Charlie Robertson - 25 January 2016

We strongly support the idea of a National Park being introduced to this area. The countryside will be protected (from wind farms). The properties will be protected as housing "estates" will be deterred. The wildlife will be protected as conservation will be promoted and Trusts encouraged.

We do not wish to see autocratic planning laws being introduced to buildings and homes in a hope to "standardise" dwellings. We would hope the friendly, neighbourly Borderer attitudes will be enhanced as their homelands are elevated to a prestigious level giving a really strong sense of pride to the Park community.

From research we believe Tourism will flourish and so locals willing to enter this Industry can help sustain and grow services, facilities and attractions. We welcome the proposal......bring it on!!

Neil and Toni Moss - 24 January 2016

I strongly support the idea of a National Park, the creation of which places a unique value to the area and highlights what a precious resource we have on our doorstep. National Park status will will also attract people who will stay and spend in our communities.

Martyn Harrison - 22 January 2016

Would it not be a good idea to encompass the complete Borders Abbey Way? Like-wise the St Cuthbert's Way could be included.

Roger Adams - 22 January 2016

Protection is an excellent way forward, although boundaries are difficult. Why is the area to the West excluded?

Much of this area is at risk of despoilation from windfarms. Although I am generally in favour of wind power there are some areas where they are not appropriate. They should not normally be granted development permission in areas designated - or could be designated - National Park areas.

Judith Reeves - 21 January 2016

The scheme is very exciting indeed and as I'm well traveled throughout the uk I've visited many other parks and the benefits to tourism and ecology are clearly visible.

My only concern would be that Scotlands unique access laws may be threatened under national park status.

Charlie Young - 20 January 2016

I would urge the Scottish Government to award National Park status to this culturally and naturally significant area of the borders. Scotland is woefully behind other nations and ranks low in the world's table of national park designations. We are failing to adequately protect our own countryside and culture. In its 2011 manifesto, the SNP promised to work with charities "to explore the creation of new national parks". Yet 5 years later there has been little progress. Research by Scottish Natural Heritage shows that the developed area of Scotland has risen from 65 per cent (19,890 square miles) in 2008 to 73 per cent (22,204 square miles) in 2013. It shows that the rise in wind farms has been to blame. This area of stunning natural beauty is slated to be covered in some of the highest turbines in Scotland. Please act now to prevent another area being lost to industrialisation.

Annie Diamond - 19 January 2016

You highlight the history of the Borders. I would just want to mention the fact that Sir Walter Scott loved the borderside, visiting places like Hermitage Castle...and more, inviting people like JMW Turner and Raeburn to the area. There are so many other places as well that are part of the history of Scotland

We as a family feel that a Borders National Park would draw attention to a neglected part of Scotland. People often drive through the Borders and fail to notice it's unique beauty and extraordinary history. We support his initiative totally.

Andrew Warburton - 18 January 2016

The recent announcement, for 23 new UK marine preservation zones (8,000 square miles), adds impetus for us to do the same on our mainland. I would support a Border's National Park, strategically placed North of Keilder National Park and Night Sky Preservation Zone. The Cheviot Hills Landscape, Ecology and Tourism is too precious to loose to industrialisation.

Gordon C Pugh - 18 January 2016

Great Britain has a rising population and ever increasing density of urban living. National Parks help protect areas of peace and beauty for people to visit, relax and destress. The tourism it engenders improves job prospects for residents. A Border's National Park may modulate pressures from industrialisation. The juxtapositioning of a Borders National Park to the Keilder National Park Night Sky Preservation Zone is an excellent choice which I fully support.

Mary M Pugh - 18 January 2016

Yes it's a good enough idea as long as it doesn't restrict the possibility of planning for a new nuclear or coal fired power station or any opportunities that may arise from fracking as it would appear the consensus is that renewable energy infrastructure is the main reason the area should be protected. Now that's what I call leaving a legacy for future generations.

David Potts - 18 January 2016

Great idea and not before time. The Scottish Borders are not only beautiful, non industrialised but also historically interesting, from the Romans onward. Brilliant for local tourism, the countryside needs as much protection as the Northumberland countryside.

Graham Lincoln - 16 January 2016

I would dearly love to see the borders area awarded National Park status, it would help to protect the Borders magnificent scenery for future generations and deter greedy speculators from desecrating the landscape for gains regardless of the damage they create.

Bob Young - 16 January 2016

The Scottish Borders are the eastern gateway to Scotland and the proposed park being adjacent to both the Kielder Forest and the Northumberland National Park would help to create tourism within this beautiful and largely unspoilt landscape. The landscape is under threat from several planning applications for wind turbine farms, (approximately 146 turbines varying in height from 110 to 176 metres in height), within the proposed boundaries of the Borders National Park and must be opposed for the sake of the area and its future wellbeing.

Peter Hincks - 15 January 2015

Hello I recently read a couple of articles regarding the possibility of parts of the Borders being awarded "National Park" status. I have to say I think this is an excellent proposal which I very much hope succeeds.

As you head north on the A68 through the Northumberland National Park you reach the Border crossing at Carter Bar, a popular stop off point for visitors and locals. You are then met with fantastic views making this the most scenic gateway to Scotland and in my view better than the National Park you have just left. The whole area around the Cheviot foothills is quite stunning and should be both protected and promoted. Awarding National Park status is an excellent way to achieve this. The Border ridge is highly prominent and visible for many miles in all directions, a large area around the Carter Bar deserves to protected for the benefit of future generations whilst encouraging tourism which the local economy needs.

Rob. Atkinson - 15 January 2016

As it stands the Borders are ignored by the majority of tourists, it is a pass through area on the way to or from Edinburgh. The countryside and history equates to that in most other National Parks and it will help the people of the area by protecting the environment and improving the economics.

Marilyn Bridger - 10 January 2016

An excellent idea but we need to be aware of the limitations. House prices will obviously rise due to the attraction of a second/holiday home in a National Park. This will limit the opportunities for local people to buy thus splitting up long established communities. I would be concerned if restrictions were placed on hunting, riding and game shooting. Much to be investigated.

Jeremy Phipps - 10 January 2016

I am strongly in favour of a Cheviots National Park, effectively extending the Northumberland park into the southern Borders. As long as there are democratic checks and balances, and commercial interests can be kept in check, it could be the best thing for the border hinterlands (I live in Yetholm). This needs to be supported by a fully worked up economic development plan, with tourism at its centre. Diversification is vital for local economic benefit and bring younger people into the area.

Russell Taylor - 10 January 2016

Excellent idea, ideally suited to National Park status.

Venessa Richard - 5 January 2016

Most of the areas in the proposed boundary already benefit from being next to the Northumberland national park- surely there are other areas of scotland that should be protected first. So much of scotland is special not just the borders. I would like to see legislation in General protecting the countryside and not just areas that are picked out. That way other areas will not be left out and left behind.

Charlotte - 5 January 2016

Great idea ! Just what we need for Jedburgh.

Linda Lovatt - 4 January 2016

The Borders is Scotland's best kept secret, it lies within easy reach of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle and Newcastle but it almost unheard off in these heavily populated areas. It's unspoiled countryside is second to none and should be protected as such from further development and in particular wind farming. Evidence shows that any potential tourism is greatly effected by these visual spoilers. There is a huge market to promote family history heritage and further vocational activities with easy accessibility, and unlike most of the rest of Scotland, the Borders has the advantage of not suffering quite so severely from the plight of the midge. We will rue the day that after thousands of years of geological natural beauty, we will stand back and see wind turbines polute our landscape, and our children will not be able to enjoy this beautiful and bountiful land, polluted by their greedy, shortsighted forefathers.

Ian H Scott - 4 January 2016

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