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Next Nature Action Plan – Have your say!

20th June 2018

What do you think are the most important things that need to happen to safeguard and enhance the rich and varied wildlife of the Cairngorms National Park in the next five years? Now is your chance to have your say on what you think the priorities should be in the next Cairngorms Nature Action Plan 2018-2023, with a consultation starting today (Wednesday 20th June) for 12 weeks.

Launched in May 2013, Cairngorms Nature is a partnership that brings people and organisations together with the aim of driving forward conservation projects in the Park. It has seen a great deal achieved within the first five years from significant progress in woodland expansion and creation, peatland restoration and improved habitats for waders.

Between now and mid-September the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is asking people to give their views on the draft Action Plan for 2018-2023. It sets out what the Park Authority considers the most important things to do are and provides a focus for the work of partners. The key elements of the Plan are landscape scale conservation, focussed action for priority species and ensuring that people can get involved.

The Cairngorms National Park is home to almost 1,200 species considered to be nationally or internationally important so a major part of the Draft Action Plan focusses on getting particular species back on a sustainable footing – from the Scottish wildcat and curlews to pine hoverfly and one-flowered wintergreen.  With some of the best habitats in the UK, the next five years for Cairngorms Nature also aims to focus efforts on creating more habitats suitable for breeding waders, more sustainably managed moorlands and bigger, more natural woodlands. There are also objectives aimed at getting more people involved in nature conservation from recruiting more volunteer rangers to an increase in people attending nature focused events.

Chair of Cairngorms Nature, Andy Wells said: “This is a place hugely valued by people for diverse reasons and a landscape of immense importance to wildlife much of which depends on, and is a product of the working of the land over generations. It is also a landscape where there is a shared vision to create even more diversity, even greater abundance of distinctive habitats and species and which is internationally recognised for its quality of environment – but with people at its heart.

“We know we have something very special here in the Cairngorms National Park but we must never be complacent and must always be striving to protect and enhance the area’s unique cultural and natural heritage features – this is why everyone’s views are important and we urge everyone with an interest in the area to find out more about the next Cairngorms Nature Action Plan and share your opinions with us.”

Judith Webb, a member of the CNPA Board and the Cairngorms Nature Strategy Group said: “I am delighted to say that a huge amount has been achieved in the first five years of Cairngorms Nature demonstrating that partnership working and cooperation are drivers for change. It is important to stress that this is not a Park Authority action plan but a plan for everyone who lives, works, visits, enjoys or cares for this wonderful National Park. Conservation in the Park will only be really sustainable in the long-term by putting people at its heart through decision making, through the actions of land managers, through volunteering or by simply caring enough to take part in this consultation – so please do get involved.”

The Cairngorms Nature Action Plan 2018-2023 consultation begins today (Wednesday 20th June) and closes on Friday 14th September. For more information or to take part please click here. You can also view the Draft Plan at the Park Authority offices in Grantown-on-Spey or Ballater and it is available at libraries and council offices throughout the Park.