Launch of National Park Bid for Affric & Loch Ness

A proposal has been launched to nominate Affric and Loch Ness as Scotland’s third national park, with the aim of protecting and celebrating the area’s globally important natural and cultural heritage. The partnership leading the nomination believes that national park status would benefit current and future generations, empower local communities, and create economic opportunities including nature-based jobs.

The proposed national park would cover the area of the Scottish Highlands, including Glen Affric, Trees for Life’s Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, Kintail, and Beauly. Strathglass Community Council, supported by a range of partners, is spearheading the nomination process and seeking input from stakeholders and community members before submitting a full nomination. Local events will be held later this month, and feedback can also be provided through the website

The Scottish Government has pledged to establish at least one new national park by 2026, and the current nomination process will close on February 29, 2024. National parks in Scotland aim to conserve and enhance outstanding world-class landscapes with special qualities, and promote sustainable use and development of the area. They also allow local communities to have a greater say in decisions affecting the park.

The Affric and Loch Ness National Park partnership believes that the proposed national park will promote sustainable tourism and visitor management, provide access to funding and infrastructure for landscape protection and improvement of biodiversity, and create sustainable employment and housing opportunities for rural communities. The nomination has already received support from Trees for Life, UHI Inverness, the Institute for Biodiversity & Freshwater Conservation, Highland Councillors, local community councils and companies, and business owners.

Humphrey Clarke, Chair of Strathglass Community Council, stated, “We are leading the nomination process and want to hear and represent the views of local people and stakeholders. We believe that Affric and Loch Ness National Park would enable local people to protect and enhance our natural environment for future generations, while providing opportunities for sustainable employment and housing.”

Steve Micklewright, Chief Executive of Trees for Life, expressed his support and stated, “A new national park, centered on Glen Affric and extending to Loch Ness and the west coast, could enable nature restoration on a major scale in this stunning landscape of mountains, glens, lochs, and ancient forests.” He further added that the investment in nature recovery could unlock the area’s potential for local communities and visitors, and Trees for Life is committed to supporting the proposal.

Professor Chris O’Neil, Principal and Chief Executive of UHI Inverness, also voiced support for the nomination and said, “As the local provider of further and higher education, as well as world-class academic research, we strongly support the nomination for Affric and Loch Ness National Park.” He further added that the designation would enhance and protect the natural environment and heritage of the area, and contribute to the wider wellbeing of the community.

For more information on forthcoming consultation events, visit

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Pressat, on Friday 12 January, 2024. For more information subscribe and follow

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