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Park Authority commission farmland survey

15th August 2006

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has commissioned a survey of farmland in Badenoch and Strathspey to help ensure continuing support for farming activities that benefit biodiversity.

The area has long been known for its high quality lowland habitats, wildlife and landscape but despite this, there are has been no systematic survey of the grassland, heathland or wetland habitats found within it.

The CNPA, with financial support from Scottish Natural Heritage, has contracted a consultant ecologist to carry out the survey, which will take place during August, September and early October.

David Bale, the CNPA’s Head of Natural Heritage explained: “The value of land in Badenoch and Strathspey for breeding waders and for plant communities is due to years of sensitive and beneficial farming practices.

“The purpose of the survey is to increase our knowledge of what exists in the area. This information will be extremely beneficial in helping us to work with the agricultural community to demonstrate the need for continuing support for farming activities that are good for habitats, wildlife and the landscape.”

Brendan O’Hanrahan, who will be carrying out the survey, added: “We hope to visit around 1,500 fields within Badenoch and Strathspey during the study period, spending a maximum of three quarters of an hour at each site making a general analysis of its botanical significance. Although the survey information for each site will not be highly detailed, it will provide a good overview of the area as a whole.”

Farmers are asked to allow the study team access to fields which have been identified as either permanent grass or rough grazing and in return, the CNPA will be happy to provide a copy of the findings for each individual farm.

Letters alerting farmers to the survey have been sent out and a full report of the overall findings is expected early next year.

For further information please contact Will Boyd Wallis at the CNPA on tel: 01479 873535 / email: [email protected]