CAMERON McNISH helped mark history with the official opening of the North Harris Trust office in Tarbert and called for the region to seek national park status – insisting it would give the entire district a shot in the arm.
The TV personality, author and well-respected mountain walker cut a St Kilda Tartan ribbon, made by Harris Tweed, Isle of Harris, with some assistance from Tarbert teenager Stuart Morrison and compared North Harris to Aviemore insisting adopting national park status could provide a massive boost.
“I made a call for a national park in North Harris in 2003 but at that time it didn’t go down well with either the MP or the MSP,” explained McNish.
“Largely I think they were worried about lack of development in a national park but Scottish national parks are different to anywhere else in the world in that development is seen as an integral part of the forward plan.
“I know the two national parks we already have are both thriving with people coming to both because of their status.
“I think the hills of North Harris are one of Scotland’s best kept secrets and if you want economic prosperity then let’s use that national park status as a shop window and encourage people to come over here. I think it would make a tremendous difference.
“I actually live in the Cairngorms and ten years ago Aviemore was on it’s uppers a bit and after a series of bad winters it was getting a bit tacky but national park status has made a huge difference and the place is now thriving.
“And I believe if there was a North Harris national park it would attract people by the ferry-load.”