Farmers and crofters have been voicing frustration over the lack of consultation regarding the reintroduction of beavers in the Cairngorms area.

Over 70 participants, including members from the Cairngorms Crofters and Farmers Group, staged a protest at the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) Headquarters, driving a procession of 21 tractors, a Unimog, and Land Rovers through Grantown.

The Scottish Farmer: Some of the protesters in GrantownSome of the protesters in Grantown

A meeting with CNPA board members concluded positively.

Chief executive of the CNPA, Grant Moir said: “It was great to have so many farmers and crofters attend the meeting to discuss agriculture issues in the National Park.

"There was a frank and honest exchange of views about farming, the role of the park authority and how we can work better together in the future to further the aims of the national park. The park authority is looking forward to future meetings and working to support the farmers and crofters in the area.”

Independent facilitator Ali McKnight highlighted the need for farmer input, leading to an agreement for a small group to relay information between CNPA and the community.

She told The Scottish Farmer: “The huge attendance showed the amount of support for getting a voice heard, following increased momentum and passion from the community after 20 years of the Cairngorm National Park.”

NFUS Highland regional manager Ian Wilson expressed concern over CNPA's governance.

READ MORE | Farmers upset over absence of beaver release consultation

Mr Wilson said: “The fact that the Cairngorms Park has not delivered and worked with farmers and crofters is a concern, as the government considered setting out more national parks.” said Ian.

The Scottish Farmer: One of the signs on a tractor at the protestOne of the signs on a tractor at the protest

Chairman of Cairngorms Crofters and Farmers Group, Robert MacDonald, highlighted rural concerns: “The strength within the rural people is clear. The promises we received 20 years ago were of benefit to the agricultural community. Yet the focus of the park is on conservation and rewilding, this is secluding farmers.

“We need to consider where our food comes from,” he concluded.

The Cairngorms National Park covers 1,118,720 acres, comprising 6% of Scotland's land area, spanning regions like Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Angus, Perth, and Kinross.

See this week's Scottish Farmer for more details.