Over recent weeks, campaigners and politicians have been renewing calls for Scotland’s third national park to be created in the South West of Scotland.

It comes after a planned cooperation deal between the SNP and the Greens pledged to designate at least one new national park within the next five years.

The UK boasts 15 national parks but just two – Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and the Cairngorms – are located north of the border.

The shared policy programme between the two parties agree Scotland must urgently play its full part in tackling the twin global crises of climate and nature.

It goes on to say: “We believe that National Parks should be designated only in response to local community demand, so we encourage communities, stakeholders and local government to come forward with proposals, which we would expect to accommodate progressive land use, be smaller in scale than existing parks and to demonstrate good value for money.”

The existing campaign to make the Galloway forest Scotland’s third national park was presented at the end of the last parliamentary term and was left on ice, despite the issue being high on the political agenda this year with the Conservatives, Greens, Labour and Liberal Democrats all supporting the idea of more National Parks in their Scottish Parliamentary election manifestos.

There was also active backing from SNP MSPs, with South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper put forward a motion in February this year setting out the many benefits that a National Park would bring to the the South of Scotland, which saw all party backing but was left on ice.

The Galloway National Park Association said its proposals “offer a brilliant, ready-made opportunity for Scotland to make a truly significant contribution to a greener world”.

Galloway is one of the seven sites identified by The Scottish Campaign for National Parks and the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland.

Others include Glen Affric, Wester Ross, Ben Nevis, and Harris.

However, what would this mean for Ayrshire?

The current boundary lines for Galloway National Park plans could take in a large section of Southern Ayrshire, right up to Ayr itself – and stretch east from the Dunure coast to Wanlockhead beyond Cumnock.

Plus, South and East Ayrshire Council have shown their support for a national park on their patch.

The existing Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere is an important UNESCO designation but does not cover a footprint required to meet the National Park test.