Cairngorms: The UK’s biggest national park receivses £10m windfall to reach net zero

The UK’s biggest national park has received a £10.7million windfall to help it become net zero, with hopes of also prescribing nature on the NHS.

Cairngorms 2030 is one of the largest projects ever supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The total value of the programme could reach up to £42.3 million.

The Cairngorms National Park hopes the funding will help it to become the first in Britain to be net zero by 2030.

Other ambitions plans laid out as part of the project include creating the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of new woodland, developing the world’s first outdoor dementia resource centre and prescribing nature on the NHS.

‘We are delighted to learn that the delivery phase is being supported with £10.7 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund,’ said Sandy Bremner, convener of the park authority.

‘This five-year, £42.3 million initiative will put the power to tackle the nature and climate crisis in the hands of the people in the Park.

‘It will benefit people’s health and wellbeing, develop sustainable transport solutions and help nature – and we are ready to get going on delivering for all those who live, work and visit this very special place.

‘The development phase of the Cairngorms 2030 programme saw views gathered from more than 4,000 people who live, visit and work in the National Park over almost two years, to help shape plans for the delivery phase we are about to embark on.’

The programme will involve the delivery of 20 projects over five years, working alongside 70 partners, ranging from the NHS to local schools, non-governmental organisations and land managers to business groups.

First Minister Humza Yousaf said: ‘Scotland’s national parks are more important than ever in helping us tackle the biodiversity and climate crises – and strengthening our rural communities.’

Cairngorms 2030 project aims:

To become the first national park in the UK to reach net zero
Create the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of new woodland
Develop the world’s first outdoor dementia resource centre
Transform the way people get around the Cairngorms
Pioneer nature-friendly farming and green finance
Foster meaningful relationships with under-represented communities
Restore 6,500 hectares of carbon-storing peatland
Prescribe nature on the NHS
Empower communities to shape the future of their area
Restore and enhance three iconic rivers: the Spey, Dee and Esk