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Two thirds back Scotland's first marine national park

SCOTLAND’S next national park should include coastal and marine areas, according to a new poll.

Scotland’s first national park was created in 2002 in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, followed a year later by the Cairngorms, but a new Survation study shows 63 per cent of respondents believe it is time to include the coast in the next.

Bids for a new park, due to be created by 2026, were invited by the Scottish government last year, but the survey comes less than three weeks before that process ends on February 29.

Scottish Campaign for National Parks’ Nikki Sinclair said: “We should ensure that the whole range of Scotland’s special landscapes are recognised, and it would be a missed opportunity if areas with coastal and marine elements were not up for consideration.”

Conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation’s Joe Richards said: “There are many iconic areas of Scotland where communities would benefit from the enhanced local control a national park brings.

“So many of these natural wonders are where the land meets the sea, and, like the public, we think it’s time for a coastal and marine national park for Scotland.”

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