The inaugural meeting of the Friends of the Pentlands was held on 29 March 2003. The raison d’être for that meeting was a willingness to take forward two specific objectives stated in the Pentland Hills Regional Park Integrated Management Strategy; viz, the wish to establish “an independent friends group” and the wish “to encourage wider participation by the public”. The first Annual General Meeting was held on 11 May 2004 and the Organisation became a registered Scottish Charity on the same date.
To better meet its longer term aspirations and needs the decision was taken at the Annual General Meeting on 8 May 2012 to apply to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) to change its legal form to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO). The application was successful with the SCIO being registered on 18 December 2012.
As at 31 December 2016 the membership of the Friends of the Pentlands stood at 387 (individuals and organisations) and the Board currently has 12 Trustees. During 2016 members contributed 6175 hours of their time to support a wide range of activities.
The Friends of the Pentlands’ purposes are:
- To protect and enhance the natural beauty and upland character of the Pentland Hills its waters and surrounding countryside. Declaring that “the Pentlands” shall mean the Pentland Hills and surrounding countryside
- To protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage and features of public amenity within this area
- To encourage respect for the quality of life of those who live and work within this area
- To carry out environmental projects that enhance public access and biodiversity
- To encourage high standards of design in all work undertaken within this area
- To provide an annual programme of activities to foster the enjoyment of healthy exercise, an appreciation of the environment and social and cultural history
- To promote the forming of appropriate planning policies, compatible with these purposes, through the considered long term development plan process and their effective and consistent implementation
- To stimulate public interest in these purposes by means of publications, meetings, exhibitions, appeals and other forms of publicity
- To co-operate with other bodies to promote the foregoing purposes