Decision Maker: National Park Authority
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Members considered the final draft of the State of the Park Report (SOPR) which had been subject to revision and improvements following consultation with members, officers and partners. They congratulated officers on an excellent report and the valuable input from the Chair of Policy Forum was noted.
It was suggested and agreed that reports would be brought back to members at intervals to be decided by officers, in order to apply updated data.
In response to a question the officer advised that data on upland erosion was still being sought but it was hoped to include this in the final version. The prevalence of algae blooms was highlighted and it was suggested that the Scottish National Parks might be able to provide some information on potential sources of this. Examples on the River Wye were also noted.
Asked about the potential to include darkness and tranquillity in the SOPR the Chief Executive advised that he was in discussion with the Park Society on the potential for data on this. In relation to noise he had spoken to the Police about the increase in high performance motorbikes since the easing of lockdown. The Systems and Performance Manager advised that there was a task in the timeline for the SOPR and other key documents, and that discussion with stakeholders would enable views about values and perceptions. He referred to new technology that was in the early phase of being able to gather sensor data, for example the impact of parking in the Waterfalls Area, but could also look at noise and light.
The Heritage Champion felt that the culture and heritage section was light on indicators but he felt the Heritage Environment Action Plan (HEAP) would provide the means to enlarge the scope of this section.
A member welcomed the report and wanted to see the dashboard used for communication via the website, press releases, and engagement through social media and learning resources, notwithstanding that it will generate difficult conversations. For the next iteration she felt members would welcome indicators on how people feel about being in the park. She was supported in this by a member who suggested that a communications plan was needed in light of the Authority publishing several key documents this year. The Chief Executive noted this for discussion with the Public Engagement Manager.
A member asked whether pollution levels were being monitored during lockdown and the Biodiversity Champion advised that the regulatory authorities continued to monitor this.
RESOLVED: To approve the State of the Park Report 2020
Report author: Mr Matthew Scanlon
Publication date: 07/08/2020
Date of decision: 07/08/2020
Decided at meeting: 07/08/2020 - National Park Authority