PLANS to double the size of the Pentland Hills regional park have taken a step forward after Midlothian South SNP MSP Christine Grahame won cross-party backing for her proposal.
She will now hold more detailed talks as she prepares a Member’s Bill to put before the Scottish Parliament.
Ms Grahame said she wanted to broaden access for people from less-privileged backgrounds to enjoy the hills, where thousands already go cycling, walking and fishing.
She said some respondents to the consultation on her plans feared she was “just asking them for money”. But she said: “I am trying to find another funding mechanism.”
Up to £1m a year would be needed to maintain the new regional park if it were extended further south, doubling its reach over Midlothian and West Lothian and into Lanarkshire and the Borders.
Critics claim the expansion would bring too many people into sensitive argicultural and wildlife sites.