Dear Editor,

Recent press coverage and social media postings suggesting widespread farming support for a Galloway National Park has prompted me to reiterate the position and reservations held by NFU Scotland members in relation to the current proposals.

Our members across Dumfries and Galloway are not ‘anti national park’, but they want to see clear evidence as to how a national park would provide benefits to the wider rural economy without placing additional unnecessary restrictions and bureaucracy on day to day business activities. They want to know how farming and other economic activities would be affected or directly developed.

We have been asking for this information since engagement began with the Galloway National Park Association at its formation and throughout 2018 and 2019 when members were emailed details on the proposals and three member meetings were held to discuss. At the end of 2019 we stated the following:

“Until such times as clarity on this body’s (GNPA) proposals is given and we can be persuaded as to the merits of a national park and how it would benefit our Industry, the NFUS Dumfries and Galloway Executive Committee support the Stewartry, Wigtown and Dumfries Branches in their opposition to such a proposal.”

Further details have yet to be provided and, without such information being, NFU Scotland could not be informed nor persuaded as to the merits of a national park and how it would benefit the region’s agricultural industry in terms of development aims.

Our members would much rather focus on the already established economic and environmental initiatives which already provide all the benefits the Association claim a Galloway National Park could add – without an expensive, new and overarching bureaucracy.

Yours sincerely

Colin Ferguson

NFUS Dumfries and Galloway Regional Chairman