Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Cabinet Secretary Sympathetic to National Park Campaign


Today in Parliament the local MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, Finlay Carson, asked the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, to commit the Scottish Government to supporting the creation of a Galloway National Park.

Following the recent success of the BBC documentary, ‘The Forest’ which has raised awareness of all aspects of life in and around Galloway Forest and the south west, the Cabinet Secretary stated that she was “impressed” and acknowledged “the education about the work and the importance economically and also to tourists” that the Forest brings.

Furthermore, the Cabinet Secretary appeared sympathetic towards the creation of a Galloway National Park, stating “I know in relation to the National Parks, that’s the responsibility of another Cabinet Secretary but I do recognise the opportunities that we have with the biosphere and all the different areas that we have in Galloway to make sure that our natural environment is key to what we do”

Further to his question in the chamber, Carson has submitted a parliamentary motion welcoming the airing of ‘The Forest’ and commending the work of the district forest manager Colin Hossack.

Galloway Forest produces over 600,000 tonnes of timber every year and it is integral to the promotion of the local community.

Commenting, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson said:

“It is only right that Galloway Forest receives such prominent airtime on national television – as one of Scotland’s natural hidden gems, the Forest is vital to attracting tourist and in the campaign for a Galloway National Park.

“I welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s comments in the Chamber today and I’m optimistic that her sympathetic response to the creation of a Galloway National Park will be fed back to the Scottish Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

“The documentary has also provided an opportunity for those contributing to the upkeep and health of Galloway Forest to be recognised – Forest Manager, Colin Hossack, continues to undertake a sterling job as evidenced in the documentary.

“I have today submitted a Parliamentary Motion commending the work of the documentary and those who featured in it, and hope that with the recent publicity Galloway Forest is duly rewarded with the status it deserves.

“I will continue to campaign and support the creation of a Galloway National Park, both in Parliament and within the constituency, and urge all constituents to contribute to the conversation at”