In June 2005, SNH was asked by the Minister of Environment and Rural Affairs to provide advice on the development of coastal and marine National Parks, as a contribution to this process of stewardship. Following extensive stakeholder engagement and debate, we are delighted to present that advice in this report.
For the right area, or areas, we believe that a National Park can make an important contribution alongside the wider suite of initiatives that are under development for our coastal and marine environment. Support from local communities and other stakeholders is essential to bringing any proposal forward, and the next stage of the process will be important in bringing that about. We will continue to support the process of turning this advice into practice.
With nearly one tenth of Europe's coastline, Scotland has a truly international resource in its care. The seas around Scotland are also of great economic, cultural and natural importance, sustaining a valuable and diverse range of human activity, wildlife and natural resources. These features are related to the physical nature of the coast and seabed and to our position at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Fishing, aquaculture, shipping and recreation are widespread and our coastal landscapes are rightly famous for their naturalness and other qualities. In so many ways the effective management and stewardship of the coast and seas can therefore contribute to the Government's objective to build a sustainable future for Scotland.