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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Park plans are mapped out
The proposed map of Scotland's first national park has been unveiled.
The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park will be bigger than originally envisaged, covering an area of about 1,600 sq kms with a population of 14,000.
It will extend to Tyndrum and Crianlarich, as well as the Loch Earn area.
And it has emerged that Argyll Forest on the Cowal Peninsula will be included after a hard-fought battle.
One of the biggest rows has been over the Cowal peninsula.
Many people there want to be included, arguing that Dunoon should be the park's south western gateway.
However, the government agency Scottish Natural Heritage did not believe that the commercial Argyll Forest on the Cowal merited park status.
The town of Dunoon will not actually be within the park's boundaries, but will still be seen as a gateway.
Delight of environmentalists
National parks bring commercial benefits, but their main purpose is to protect the environment.
The bill introducing national parks to Scotland completed its passage through the Scottish Parliament last June - to the delight of environmentalists who campaigned for the move.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs will become the country's first national park, and is expected to be followed by one in the Cairngorms.
Forth Valley Enterprise and Dunbartonshire Enterprise have put up £1.2m to help create new businesses and support established firms in the first park area.
The area will be run by a national parks authority with planning and development control powers.
Ten members of the authority will be from the four councils whose territory comes within the park's area - Stirling, Argyll and Bute, West Dunbartonshire, and Perth and Kinross.
Details were announced by Scottish environment minister Rhona Brankin as she launched the consultation process designation order.
The consultation period will last 15 weeks and local "surgeries" are being set up to take views from the public.
Major step forward
The park is planned to come into being in April next year.
Ms Brankin said the draft order marked a major step forward in the pledge to create national parks in Scotland.
"Scotland's national parks will be unique to Scotland," the minister said.
"Unlike other parks, the social and economic aims are equally important to the aims of conservation, recreation and the sustainable use of resources.
"National parks are about people as well as the land, about creating thriving communities and linking the opportunities for tourism, landscape protection, recreation and farming."