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This page is no longer updated. The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute joined forces with SCRI joined forces on 1 April 2011 to create The James Hutton Institute. Please visit the James Hutton Institute website.

Monday 20th May 2024

Participation and Governance in Spatial Planning

Project Contact

Kirsty Blackstock, Macaulay Institute

Project Summary

The Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Macaulay Institute are working together to evaluate the process of developing the National Park Plan and its implementation. The Cairngorms National Park requires a new approach to planning and management that integrates many different issues; works with many different partners in delivering the desired outcomes; and takes account of issues at the local, national and international level. The research will help the Park Authority work more effectively with their partners to deliver policies that are joined up, effective, efficient and equitable.

The research questions are:

  • Who is involved in developing and implementing the Park Plan?
  • How is the integration of the various issues managed within the overall Park Plan?
  • Are there changes in those involved, and the issues raised, over time?

The research draws on a combination of data (interviews, participant-observation of meetings and analysis of published documents) that provide multiple perspectives on the development of the National Park Plan. The research is collaborative, as it is done with, and for, the organisations and communities involved in managing the Park. Currently, we are collecting data on the implementation of the Park Plan and plan to provide further feed back in 2008-9. Some of the results were presented at a recent board meeting - further details on CNPA web page (Board Paper 4 Anx 1 NPP).

This project is linked to related work on river basin management plans and sustainable tourism.


  1. Evaluating the Cairngorms National Park Planning Process - Report to CNPA Board. , Blackstock, K.; Dilley, R.; Dinnie, L., (2009) Paper appended to meeting papers for Cairngorms National Park Authority informal Board Meeting, 27th November 2009.
  2. Multiple understandings of the Cairngorms National Park: What should the Park deliver and for whom?, Blackstock, K.L.; Dilley, R.; Trench, H.; Miles, G., (2009) Presented at the University of Aberdeen Rural Law Conference on Land Reform in Scotland: 10 years on, 3rd September 2009
  3. Measuring responsibility: an appraisal of a Scottish National Park's sustainable tourism indicators. - Blackstock, K.L., White, V.; McCrum, G.; Scott, A. and Hunter, C. - Journal of Sustainable Tourism.


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