The map below shows a tentative stab at a boundary for the proposed National Park. One thing is certain, it will not finish up looking like this (if and) when the Park becomes a reality! However, we felt that this suggested boundary enclosed an area which could be identified with a unique story in terms of cultural history, landscape and mix of economic enterprise.
The area of the proposed National Park is 1375 km². By way of comparison, Lake District National Park is 2292 km², Northumberland National Park is 1030 km², Cairngorms National Park is 4528 km², Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park is 1865 km².
It was felt that the inevitable extra layer of planning restrictions that would accompany the setting up of a National Park would be too irksome for towns whose industrial nature would not fit easily within the goals of a National Park, which are to preserve and protect landscape and cultural heritage. Nothing is set in stone at this stage though. The good Burghers of Hawick, for example, have made it known that they are upset at being left out of the proposed Park on this map! The extra layer of planning that will be inevitable with the coming of a National Park is not prescribed and can be as light or restrictive as the people living in the park want in order to preserve the unique nature of the area.
It should be noted that even if the towns are not within the National Park, there would still be considerable benefits from the 'halo effect' of being adjacent to the National Park in terms tourists using their hotels, restaurants and other facilities.
A number of Community Councils have noted that the boundary line as drawn splits their area so that part of it is in and part out of the National Park. They have indicated that they would prefer that the National Park encloses all their area. These comments have been noted - though we will leave the tentative boundary as it is drawn until the conference/stakeholder-event in November (see News and Events) after which a more informed boundary can be drawn.
If you have any comments on what the proposed boundary does enclose but should not, or does not enclose but should, or possible problems that you think the boundary could cause, please put your views in the comments box below.