Galloway national park fight stepped up

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A bid to create Scotland's third national park in Galloway is taking a step forward.

A discussion paper is being published by the organisation campaigning for the move.

Scotland currently has two national parks - in the Cairngorms and at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

The Galloway National Park Association has now put together a document looking at potential boundaries, governance and cost for the south of Scotland scheme.

Former MSP Sir Alex Fergusson, who is a patron of the group and president of the Scottish Campaign for National Parks, said the launch of the document was "very exciting".

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"It is the launch of a region-wide discussion, for want of a better word, on the proposals that have been brought forward by some very hard working people about the potential of a Galloway National Park," he said.

"I use the word discussion rather than consultation because that is what it is and that is what everybody wants to happen - a genuine discussion.

"Consultations tend to have a preconceived outcome - this one doesn't."

He said the document being launched contained suggestions and issues that should be debated.

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"Over the next few months I hope as many people as possible will take part in that discussion and have their say," he added.

The neighbouring Scottish Borders is also home to a similar campaign.

Any national park project would require Scottish government approval.

It has previously said any new parks would incur significant costs and that at a time of pressure on public finances it would not be right to raise expectations.

It said that instead it would focus on existing parks to "continue their track record of success".

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