N E W S F E E D S >>>

Caithness News Bulletins August 2005

August 2005 July 2005

Caithness.org News Index

Front Page Archives

Peatlands Strategy 2005 - 2015 (A Pdf file)

New Era For Globally Important Peatlands
A new strategy for the long term management of the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland was launched by Rhona Brankin, Deputy Minister for the Environment and Rural Development on Tuesday 16 august 2005.

Caithness And Sutherland Peatlands

The strategy has been developed by a host of organisations and individuals through the LIFE Peatlands Project, to take account of the conservation, community and economic needs of the area. Publication of the strategy follows a public consultation carried out earlier this year to take account of the views of local people, particularly farmers, crofters and land owners.

Caithness and Sutherland have the biggest extent of blanket bog in the UK and possibly the world. Large parts of the area are formally recognised under the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act and the EC Wild Birds and Habitats Directives, and have also been proposed as a World Heritage Site.

A key aim of the strategy is to provide a clear plan for the future of all the peatlands in Caithness and Sutherland, within and outwith designated areas, by promoting good land management and co-ordinated action. An underlying theme is to see how the community and economic benefits of the peatlands can be maximised, without damaging the interest of the peatlands themselves.

Included in the strategy are measures to address the balance between peatland and forestry in the area, and for increasing the amount of native woodland. The identification of new opportunities for tourism and recreation will also be pursued, in light of the fact that there are currently very few places where people can see and enjoy the peatlands at close quarters.

The LIFE Peatlands Project, is part funded by the European Union's LIFE Nature Programme, and supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB and Plantlife International.

Launching the strategy, Rhona Brankin MSP said: "I am delighted to be here today to launch the Peatlands Strategy. The future of these peatlands will now be ensured through striking a careful balance between land use, forestry, conservation and recreation. The comprehensive nature of the plan is a real testament to many organisations who have worked together to make today a reality."

Project chairman, Dr Pete Mayhew, said: "This strategy really begins an exciting new chapter for the peatlands. It is an incredibly beautiful place, fragile and rare, and one for which the Partnership has already done a great deal. The strategy will help shape and manage how we use and care for this place in years to come. It will help ensure what makes the area a special place to live, work and visit stays special for future generations to enjoy."

Seminar at ERI, Thurso  Thursday 25 august 2005 5.00pm
Munsary Peatlands - Monitoring the Heart Of The Flow Country
Richard Lindsay Head Of Wildlife Conservation
The subject of this talk is an area of peatland, known as Munsary, located a short distance north of Lybster. Richard Lindsay first visited the site in 1977 and has worked there on many occasions since then. His talk will begin with an introduction to the area, which is now a nature reserve, owned and managed by Plantlife - The Wild Plant Conservation Charity, and will give an overview of the importance of the peatland habitat and its flora and fauna. He will then talk about his recent work with Plantlife, an ambitious project to establish a unique and detailed survey baseline for long term biological monitoring of the peatland at Munsary. He will give a summary of the findings from this work and an insight into opportunities for future research at the site. 

Life Peatlands Project

Peatlands At Scottish Natural Heritage
Biodiversity Pages
Biodiversity Photo Collection
Caithness Biodiversity Plan
Sutherland Biodiversity Plan
Nature and Environment Pages