Scotland’s largest national park is set to promote use of Urdu and Punjabi

November 14th, 2007 - 10:30 am ICT by admin  

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has set out to encourage people from ethnic minority communities to visit the great outdoors.

The strategy - which could involve posters, leaflets and signs being translated into a range of Asian languages - has been welcomed by a leading outdoors organisation, reports The Scotsman.

However, a CNPA board member has criticised the move, believing it to be well intentioned but misguided.

The National Trust for Scotland has backed the strategy, but Aberdeenshire councillor and CNPA board member Bruce Luffman was uncomfortable with it. The Conservative member said: “The Cairngorms should be a park for all and the colour of people’s skin should not be important.

“There are a lot of people, of all colours and creeds, deprived of the chance to enjoy the countryside. We should be increasing opportunities for them, and race should not come into it,” he said.

Eric Baird, deputy convener of CNPA, said: “It is clear that black and ethnic minority groups are under-represented when it comes to recreation in the outdoors in Scotland. All our publications are in English and we need to address that. We need to communicate to ethnic minority groups effectively.”

Pammy Johal, of Backbone, which runs outdoor activity sessions for ethnic minorities, welcomed the CNPA initiative.

“There is a sense among ethnic minority groups that they don’t belong in the countryside and that needs to be changed. There is a big problem with language, but we also need to train people in BME communities to be role models, who can lead trips to places like the Cairngorms,” she was quoted, as saying.

“We want this to be about integration, not segregation,” she added. (ANI)

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