SIR, The recent first round of the new national parks debate has opened up a serious division with what seems like the rural economy based people, against, and the tourism sector.

I know that is a bit of a generalisation, but how on earth can a new national park succeed without the support of the people that manage the land?

I fear that the SNP and Greens have shot themselves in the foot by insisting on progressing to the second round despite this division.

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The potential new parks will go to stage two and I am quite sure the outcome will be no area really wants to be a park, certainly not Tay, Loch Awe, or Lochaber, and money that could be spent on something more pressing.

Also what is really galling to me is the way the existing park officers keep trumpeting out the same positive propaganda.

A recent local poll of 500 on an Aviemore based community forum on social media asking how satisfied people were with the Cairngorms National Park after 20 years and only 3% thought the CNP was working well for communities.

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The existing national parks need to be sorted, even Parkswatch says this before any new ones are created.

Twenty years ago we were told our ‘cultural heritage’ or ‘way of life’, would be preserved, we are now told it is not a priority. Foolishly most of us thought things like visitor facilities would improve, like provision for toilets and litter, but they got worse, not better.

Two glaring examples for farming and crofting right now are:

1: CNPA just ‘leveraged’ close to £43m from Lottery funding for their Heritage Horizons Project (HHP). They sing the praises of the Future Farming project which is part of it, but 98.7% of the farming community know nothing about it and worse it will only will benefit about 1.3 % of farms and these units were chosen behind closed doors. Of the total HHP budget, it is only 1.7% I think, that will come to farming.

2: It has only recently been discovered by the local agriculture community that Permitted Development Rights for Farmers are considerably poorer in the national park, putting them at a severe disadvantage to those outside.

For example, a farm shed in the park can require full planning with the substantial additional planning costs and significant delays based on experience in the NP will know about the planning system.

3: The unforgivable smoke screen around the beaver consultation that they still keep putting out instead of looking at why they upset almost all land managers.

Instead of doing a box ticking exercise and hoping farmers would turn up to an event in a hotel in the very short 43 day ‘consultation’ period for a decision that had already been made.

My question now for Scotgov would be, can we have a referendum to see if we still want to remain as a national park, bearing in mind we do not think we are getting a good deal...

Ruaridh Ormiston, Kingussie