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Conservation project wins Park Authority backing

13th November 2015

A project to restore bog woodland habitat in Strathspey has been given the go ahead by the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Meeting in Boat of Garten today (Friday 13 November), members of the CNPA planning committee approved plans by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to install a number of small dams in particular areas of the Abernethy National Nature Reserve (NNR). These low key features will lift the water levels within artificial drains in the forest and help to restore natural processes and rejuvenate the this valuable habitat for the benefit of a variety of species including rare damselflies, which depend on woodland bogs.

The works are part of a bigger mire restoration project being undertaken by the charity. Bog woodland is a habitat of high ecological value and is considered rare within the UK. Both wet and riparian woodlands are included in the Cairngorms Nature Action Plan, with bog woodland restoration and conversation actively encouraged.

Eleanor Mackintosh said: “I am more than happy to support this application. The proposed works will help improve the biodiversity of the area, help with carbon retention and water management. Our Cairngorms Nature Action Plan sets out the importance of bog woodland as a habitat and I am pleased to see the RSPB embarking on a wider project which will bring many environmental and conservation benefits.”

RSPB’s Operations Team Leader for the Abernethy NNR, Ross Watson, who will be managing the bog woodland restoration project said: “I am delighted the planning committee have agreed to support this crucial piece of work that will re-naturalise part of the reserve.

“In addition to improving this part of the drains network for a great number of species, the building of the structures themselves will input to the local economy through taking on contractors, as well as providing opportunities to S1 and S2 pupils from Grantown Grammar School, through the John Muir Award, to come to the reserve and build a few too. It will be fantastic to see these young people being part of the process.”

To read the planning papers in full, please visit the planning pages on the CNPA website.