Landscape and Natural Heritage

Culture, Government, Sustainability, Tourism, Villages | 0 comments




The emotional and cultural ties that Borders residents have with their landscapes is partly a pride of place but, more meaningfully, an identification and kinship with the magnificent landscapes they have grown to love and cherish, and to call home.

There is an increasingly urgent need to curate these threatened and unique landscapes in the face of 21st century pressures faced by all Scotland’s beautiful places, and a National Park Authority would be the best possible vehicle for that duty.
NatureScot has updated its assessment of the Borders landscape1 as recently as 2019 and declared “The Scottish Borders have a distinct cultural identity and geographical character” (as required by current Scottish legislation on NPs).

The Scottish Borders cultural and historical heritage spans centuries, indeed millenia. This Reiver society has resisted the relentlessly invading armies of Rome and England, not to mention the incursions of neighbouring warlords. Its story is writ large in the landscape an commemorated in song and story. It is rich, varied and vibrant, and it remains inextricably
linked to the built and natural heritage of our surroundings. It has survived and evolved down to the present day in the everyday life and traditions of its communities.The contemporary relevance and celebration of the Borders identity is a unique selling-point, first for designation as a National Park, and secondly as one of the major attractions of that NP.

As yet, the extraordinary depth and relevance of the links between history, culture and landscape have not been as widely recognised as they could be. National Park status would help to unlock – as already demonstrated by SBNP’s Twelve Towers of Rule project – the benefits of our unique heritage to the people and ecology of the Borders, and the value of the Borders to the rest of Scotland, the UK and visitors from much further afield. Designation as a National Park could almost overnight provide the publicity, recognition and coordination needed, and allow the Scottish Borders to use its free and
under-used assets (landscape, history and culture) as a springboard for significant economic revival.

What would you like to see from a National Park in the Scottish Borders?

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