Scotland has two national parks, set up under the auspices of the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000.
Australia has over 500. The state of Queensland alone is home to over 200 parks.
Okay, Queensland is bigger than Alaska, so it is pretty clear that Australia has a bit more land to play with than Scotland, but when visiting Australia in the summer of 2013 I visited more national parks than Scotland hosts: 3* (see update below). This number included the 2nd oldest national park in the world (the oldest being in the USA), the Royal National Park.
I do enjoy a bit of a ramble, both on foot and with language. Armed with my newish smartphone, I took a few photos on my pedestrian ramble. Those photos, mainly of signage, follow in this rambling and rather speculative blog. Signage? Okay, this is a bit geeky, but I could not help but be taken by the Australian tendency to couple their enjoyment of the outdoors with signage, or at least this was the case where I was. All of this makes for an interesting comparison for a Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 aficionado like me.
Apart from the animal oriented signs, my gut feeling is that it is unlikely any of these signs would or could exist in Scottish national parks (subject to local bylaws). As regards animals, they are allowed to chum up with their owners, provided the owner is being responsible, and I suspect feeding animals might not be looked on so harshly (provided no crime, perhaps like malicious mischief, was committed, say by poisoning another person’s livestock). There were also some pretty strict camping rules in operation, which would rule out wild camping.
More photos, this time from the second national park I visited (note the prohibited activities in the first photo):
On the first photo, the Tuley case would be authority that some kind of reasonable zoning of activities by a landowner would be allowed. As to the second photo, insert down under joke [here].
That example of indigenous empowerment leads nicely to a blog on the Australian land question, which will follow soon.
This is the first blog I have wholly drafted on my smartphone with the WordPress app. I do hope it works, but if readers see anything weird please let me know.
Update: I visited another towards the end of my trip, illustrated pictorially as follows.
So, another fair few disqualified activities, not to mention an occupiers’ liability disclaimer of sorts.
As a final aside, this Queensland reference to Clan Donald was heartening to see for a half-Macdonald. The Scottish diaspora, by way of John Muir, had a part to play in the American park movement, it seems another Scot (or at least someone with a very Scottish name) had a part to play in Australia too.