Community Action Planning
Working with Communities in the Cairngorms National Park
The Challenge: How to get the people who live in the National Park involved in creating a world class National Park that we can all be proud of.
The Response: Encourage the people who live in the communities to do a special survey what they liked about living where they do and what would make living there better. This was then turned into an action plan so that further support could be given to make the projects happen. Special attention was given to making some projects happen quickly so that people really got the feeling that all the work had been worthwhile.
Getting communities involved in creating a world class National Park is very important for lots of reasons.
The term 'communities' can cover several things: ‘Communities’ is used to relate to both geographical communities (particular towns or villages) and communities of common interest or identity, e.g. crofters, the business community, people with disabilities, living on low income or young people.
The focus on geographical communities relates to communities within the Park, while working with communities of common interest or identity can relate to communities within or outside the Park.
Consultation and community involvement happens on lots of different levels from:
- Letting people know about certain important issues e.g. the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, endangered species such as water voles, and wild cats.
- Getting people’s opinion on certain big topics that effect their lives and where they live e.g. what do they feel about a big housing development being built next to their cottage, or deer management within the Park?
- Involving groups and individuals to be part of the solution for certain community issues e.g. developing community projects and giving communities the money to deliver them.
However the Cairngorms National Park Authority has recently helped to develop an innovative way of consulting with communities that is community led. This was developed through the 'Our Community, a Way Forward' Pilot Project 2007-08.