‘Lady’ Lays First Egg of Season

‘Lady’ the Loch Of The Lowes Osprey thought to be the UK’s oldest breeding female has laid her first egg of the season.

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Scottish Heritage Backs Plans for Stenhousemuir Nature Reserve

Scottish Natural Heritage has given its backing to plans to create a new local nature reserve near Stenhousemuir.

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Falkirk Considers Carron Dams Local Nature Reserve Plan

Plans to designate an old reservoir in Falkirk as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) are being considered by the council.

Carron Dams
Falkirk Council is considering a plan to designate Carron Dams as a Local Nature Reserve

The Carron Dams site and the neighbouring Forge Dam have been earmarked as a possible new reserve.

Falkirk already has one LNR at Bonnyfield Nature Park in Bonnybridge and Kinneil in Bo’ness will be formally adopted as a LNR in the next few weeks.

The authority said Carron Dams would be an ideal site for an LNR due to its fen habitat and associated biodiversity.

Carron Dams, which is owned by Falkirk Council, is partially drained and was originally a holding dam, supplying water for power and cooling purposes to Carron Iron Works.

The site, near Larbert High School, contains a range of wetland, fen and brownfield habitats and deciduous woodland.

As one of the largest wetlands in the area, Carron Dams is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Members of Leisure, Tourism and Community Committee have heard proposals to further develop a Local Management Group to carry out consultations with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for the declaration of Carron Dams as a LNR.

Community support

The Local Management Group would work in partnership with representatives from local community groups and local industry, Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), Larbert High School and Falkirk Council to help establish Carron Dams as a LNR and engage the wider community.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, the committee’s convener said:

“It’s great to see plans come forward to create the third local nature reserve in the Falkirk Council area.

“Local Nature Reserves are important places, but it’s vital we get the support of local communities to help manage them.

“Already there’s been encouraging support from local people to this initial proposal, plus the strong backing of the committee this week.

“The next stage will be to win the support of Scottish Natural Heritage to allow the Council to formally adopt the site as a local nature reserve.”

Carron Dams is currently leased and actively managed by SWT.

Falkirk Council is also working in partnership with Buglife, an environmental charity supporting the conservation of invertebrates, at the Forge Dam Site.

This involves a programme of surveying and habitat management to protect and safeguard nationally rare speciess.

Story By BBC


All About Beavers

With the great news that a beaver has taken up residence in the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes reserve, I thought I would post some information on these amazing creatures.

Beaver Bjornar canal building

Beaver facts

Did you know that beavers are Europe’s largest native rodent; that they can remain under water for up to 15 minutes at a time and are highly skilled water engineers?

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From RAF Leuchars on Facebook

The RAF Leuchars Conservation Group helped to preserve and protect wildlife environments in North East Fife recently. Personnel from across the RAF station visited the Craig Hartle Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Bankhead Moss to assist with projects in collaboration with the Scottish Golf Environment Group, the Fairmont Golf Course and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

At Craig Hartle SSSI, which lies adjacent to the Fairmont Golf Course, the volunteers assisted with bracken control and scrub management in a project aimed to promote biodiversity and safeguard valuable habitats that had been shaded out and swamped by the highly invasive bracken spread.

The helpers then assisted at Bankhead Moss, a 42-acre wildlife reserve near the village of Peat Inn, which has a small raised peat bog as its principal feature. Such relatively intact peat bogs are scarce in Fife and vegetation cover on the centre of the dome is characteristic of acidic heath with sphagnum growing in wet areas. As the bog centre is largely open and vulnerable to colonisation by tree seedlings, especially birch, the volunteers assisted the Scottish Wildlife Trust in the control and removal of the young trees.

The Station Environmental Protection Advisor at RAF Leuchars, Ms KC Campbell, said of the recent events:

“The volunteers have put in a great effort doing these very physical tasks. They made significant inroads into both the bracken and birch problems and were duly deserving of the praise given to them by the Scottish Golf Environment Group, the Fairmont Golf Course and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.”

Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/127620883943607/posts/450656111640081


A red squirrel finds some nuts Credit: ITV Border

To celebrate the start of Red Squirrel Week, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has launched a campaign which calls on nature lovers to help save the red squirrel from extinction in Scotland.

Following the success of the Trust’s campaign earlier this year, thousands more households across the country will be receiving a copy of a hand-illustrated booklet entitled “The last red squirrel in Scotland?”.

Since 1952, 95% of red squirrels have been lost south of the border and Scotland now contains three quarters of the UK’s remaining population. The biggest threat comes from grey squirrels which, although only introduced from North America in the 1870s, now number in their millions.

Grey squirrels are larger and outcompete red squirrels for food. They also carry squirrelpox, a virus almost always fatal to reds. The disease reached the south of Scotland in 2007.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is leading the fight to save this much-loved species by containing the spread of the squirrelpox virus and preventing greys from moving further north through targeted control activity. It is also planting thousands of native trees to improve red squirrel habitat, which has become fragmented and diminished.

Simon Milne, Chief Executive, said:

“The red squirrel is so much a part of our landscape that many people don’t realise just how serious the situation has become. The red squirrel could disappear from Scotland within our lifetime.

“No one is doing more to save the red squirrel than the Scottish Wildlife Trust. That’s why we are calling on people who love Scotland and its iconic wildlife to join us. With your help, we can take action before it’s too late.”

A red Squirrel on the look out Photo: ITV Border


Iconic Brands Join Forces To Save Red Squirrels

The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the House of Bruar have joined forces, raising money to protect Scotlands dwindling red squirrel population.

The House of Bruar, the prestigious department store in Highland Perthshire, yesterday (Thursday) hosted an event for The Scottish Wildlife Trust, lead partner in the Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels project.

The partnership will raise funds and awareness for the project in Perthshire, stronghold of the native red squirrel. The project aims to halt the spread of grey squirrels from the south, through targeted grey squirrel control, protecting the iconic red squirrel. The House of Bruar will be donating a percentage of this weekends art gallery sales to support the Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels project.

The Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels project includes the fight to contain the threat from deadly squirrelpox disease in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.

Since 1952, a staggering 95% of red squirrels have been wiped out south of the border. Without urgent action now, they could be gone from Scotland within our lifetime.

Scottish Wildlife Trust Chairman Allan Bantick said:

This is a prestigious partnership for the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The area around the House of Bruar is critical to the Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels project. We hope that the guests at the exclusive event tonight appreciate the seriousness of our fight.

More funding is urgently required to ensure the long term success of the Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels project and the survival of the iconic red squirrel in Scotland. Money raised as part of our partnership with the House of Bruar is vital to continue trapping, monitoring and containing the threat of squirrelpox.

Many thanks to those people whove already contributed to the project, both landowners whose land has been used and those who have contributed money.”

House of Bruar Managing Director Patrick Birkbeck said:

We are very lucky to live in beautiful surroundings of which the wildlife plays such a big part. I am delighted to be in a position to offer support to The Scottish Wildlife Trust and I am glad that The House of Bruar can play a small part in raising awareness for such a worthy project.