Cairngorms National Park

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Cairngorms householders go bats!

18th July 2005

Householders in the Cairngorms National Park are being encouraged to protect and enhance wildlife from bats to bees when developing their properties from now on.

The new drive by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is attempting to get anyone thinking about building a new house or working on their property or garden, to conserve the wealth of wildlife – known as biodiversity – found in the UK’s largest national park.

To help, a useful leaflet has been published by CNPA.  ‘Biodiversity Planning Guidance-Note for the Householder’ explains the various opportunities there are for benefiting wildlife at the time each development is planned.

Dr Peter Cosgrove, landscape and ecology advisor at CNPA explained: “Public bodies now have a general biodiversity duty from Government and we have produced this leaflet for anyone who is planning work on their house and/or garden in the Cairngorms. Everyone can help in a number of different ways, depending upon the type of work they are planning.”

Don McKee, Head of Planning at the CNPA said: “Planning applicants will receive a copy of the leaflet and every new application coming before the Park Authority should demonstrate they have considered impacts and identified opportunities to benefit wildlife.  As well as helping us deliver on our biodiversity obligations it may even speed up the planning process if applicants can demonstrate that biodiversity has been an integral part of their proposals from the outset.”

The leaflet provides guidance on the protection of trees and bushes; wetlands, ponds and burns; grasslands; birds, bats and bees; frogs, toads and newts; and plants, butterflies and moths.

CNPA board member Stuart Black said: “The Cairngorms are a very special place being home to many rare species and habitats.  We are asking people to plan their developments carefully to not only conserve natural assets of landscape, geology and wildlife but improve on them as well.  With many species protected by law, the leaflet will also help householders maintain their legal obligations.  It is actually in people’s best interests to conserve wildlife as some species like bats and swifts consume large numbers of flying insects such as midges.”

The leaflet also provides other useful contacts and reference points from websites to specific legislation for householders to be aware of. Further information and free copies can be obtained by emailing enquiries@cairngorms.co.uk or on telephone 01479 873535.