A petition to the Scottish Government to stop the Flamingo Land development on the west riverside site at Balloch has been set up by George McMillan (see here). A number of signatories have made comments which show that people care deeply about our National Parks and believe they should be about protecting the landscape and natural environment, enjoyment for all – in fact the very reasons National Parks were set up in the first place. The LLTNPA would be wise to listen, indeed it could even harness the energy of the mass of people out there who really want out National Parks to be different, but I suspect it will carry on as it is at present, trying to please the rich and powerful, out of touch and not fit for the purpose.
Here’s a sample of what people are saying:
“These plans are preposterous. Our National Parks are few and far between as it is. There should be much greater protection for the Highlands of Scotland in particular. Loch Lomond is famous for its wild, rugged beauty and its wildlife. It should never be spoilt by building any sort of theme park here. The “theme” is entirely natural and we MUST preserve that.” Audrey L
“You can’t even wild camp on loch lomond anymore , but flash the cash and these capitalist so and so’s can build what and where they like” Graham S
“A National Park is just that. A resource for everybody to enjoy. The attraction is the landscape – those who want something different can find it elsewhere quite easily” .Richard K
“As in other countries with National Parks, their special status is to protect their natural environment and ecosysystems. They must not be commercially developed.” Tom L
“A national park is created to conserve the planet’s nature and wildlife. It is available for everyone to enjoy free walking, cycling, swimming, canoeing and being in pristine nature. What more do we want? -Why turn it into a destructive US style amusement park? And if it were for economic benefit of the local community – few of the pennies made would remain here and big bucks taken elsewhere by very few.” Antje P
“It’s important to protect our naturally beautiful areas and especially important is to never allow private ownership or conglomerates to bypass our laws and develop our National Parks.” Ruth H
This is an appalling proposal, the aims and objectives of the National Park are being ignored – protection of environment and natural surroundings should be of greater importance than a few more low paid jobs and bog standard tourist attractions. Rose H
I couldn’t help thinking, reading these, what the signatories would have thought of all the destruction caused by the hydro schemes in Glen Falloch. There is simply not enough transparency about what’s going on in our National Parks and not enough democratic accountability for how they have run.
About 1500 people have added their names to the petition in the last day, after a slow start. If only half – and I am sure there will be a lot more – object to the planning application when its eventually submitted that could be sufficient to de-rail the whole development.
I hope the local community, many of whom are deeply worried about this proposal, can somehow find a way to harness this national energy and come up with alternative ideas for west riverside that would benefit both local people and the wider community of people who care about our National Parks.