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Environment

Highland Council
Ecologist/Conservation Officer


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ECOLOGIST / CONSERVATION OFFICER

Are you aware that the Highland Council employs an Ecologist/Conservation Officer to give advice on environmental topics, initiate and develop environmental improvement projects, raise environmental awareness and to ensure that all the Council's activities are as environmentally sustainable as possible?

I am based in the Implementation Section within the Planning Service, at HQ in Inverness. Prior to local government re-organisation, I was the Ecologist/Conservation Officer with Ross and Cromarty District Council from 1992-1996.

I am available to give professional help and advice to all Council Services and to groups and individuals within the community, on a wide range of ecological topics and environmental issues. The main purpose of the post is to:

  • raise the profile of conservation and ecological issues within the Council, and Communities in the Highlands, and within relevant organisations.
  • act as advisor/consultant to the Council and local Communities within the Highlands on environmental issues.
  • facilitate community-led projects and give professional help and advice.
  • carry out environmental education and raise awareness about the environment, both within the Council and local communities.
  • ensure that Council owned properties are managed in a way which projects and enhances their nature conservation, landscape and amenity interests, through preparation of management plans, providing advice, training etc:

I am a professionally qualified Ecologist, with a wide range of experience and expertise. I am involved, for example, in advising on the management of important habitats, such as woodlands, wetlands, herb rich grasslands, dune systems, river systems; advising on locally important issues (such as setting up community woodlands; the impact of machanising cockling in the Moray Firth controlling invasive vegetation; pollution in the Moray Firth; commenting on recreation developments); consulting on Woodland Grants Scheme or planning applications; carrying out biological surveys; producing site management plans; organising environmental education programmes for children; producing interpretive material or providing technical advice and assistance to community groups wanting to initiate their own environmental improvement projects.

Also, I am available to comment or to give advice on subjects such as purchasing of environmentally friendly products, give on-site operational advice to reduce the impact of large scale developments, road workings etc; advise on landscape management and maintenance; get involved in ecological/landscape/heritage orientated interpretive projects; input into environmental strategies and related policies; input training programmes. this list is not exhaustive!

Environmental Grants Scheme

In addition, I operate the Council's Environmental Grants Scheme which offers grants of up to 65% costs (to a maximum of 2,000) for community groups wishing to undertake environmental improvement or education projects. Grants are available for a wide range of types of projects. Suitable projects should:

  • be of a clear benefit to the local community and contribute to the quality of the local environment.
  • conserve, create or enhance the wildlife and natural history of the area and contribute to the local landscape by increasing its diversity and by helping to maintain or enhance its existing quality.
  • in certain cases, enhance or maintain features in the built environment which significantly add to the local character.
  • increase awareness and understanding of the natural environment.

If you would like any help or advice on any environmental topic, or if you require further information about The Grants Scheme, then please contact:

 

DR MANDIE CURRIE
Ecologist/Conservation Officer
Implementation Section
Planning and Building Control
the Highland Council
Glenurquhart Road
INVERNESS
IV3 5NX

Tel: 01463 702286
Fax: 01463 702298