Members of the public are being invited to come along to a drop in session on Thursday 25 September to find out about and give their views on the long term management of publicly owned land in Glenmore and Upper Rothiemurchus forests near Aviemore. This area includes land managed by Cairngorm Mountain and is the starting point for many walks both up onto the Cairngorm plateau and in Rothiemurchus forest itself. Earlier this year Forestry Commission Scotland purchased Upper Rothiemurchus Forest from the Grants of Rothiemurchus Esate for £7.4 million.
The event will be held at Glenmore Visitor Centre and will run from 1pm to 7pm and will be hosted by staff from Forestry Commission Scotland and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).
Up for discussion is the draft master plan which suggests a number of changes to the road layout, parking provision, a new visitor centre (in the current Youth Hostel building) and an upgraded watersports centre. There has been some criticism that some existing local businesses have not been as involved in the process as they would have wished. The partnership behind the proposals say that future pressures on the site are likely to include increased visitors due to the dualling of the A9 and faster access from the central belt, changes in way people use their leisure time, and the housing development planned at An Camas Mor on land retained by the Grants.
Grant Moir, CNPA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Cairngorm and Glenmore attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year because it is a uniquely beautiful location that stands on the edge of wildness.
“The master plan we have been working on is all about protecting and enhancing the special character of the area and overall the aim is improve the quality of the experience while consolidating and reducing the overall area of built development.
“It’s important that the local community is involved so we’re inviting anyone with an interest to come along, look at what is being proposed and to discuss it with our staff and give us some feedback.”
Graeme Prest for the Forestry Commission’s team said: “The national forest estate has expanded quite a bit in the last few months, and that gives us a fantastic opportunity to look at managing these resources on a landscape scale, working with our neighbours and other stakeholders.
“This master plan is essentially about distilling the visitor facilities and interpretation into something less visible but more effective and efficient.
“This is already a fantastic area for walkers and cyclists but we’re looking to make it an even more special, satisfying and memorable experience.”
As well as information, maps and images being available to view, there will also be opportunities to participate in guided tours and to discuss the proposals with members of staff from both organisations.