Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Gibson welcomes rural funding

News release immediate release


Highlands Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed Scottish Government funding which will safeguard the future of peat lands in Caithness and Sutherland, as well as environmentally important areas in Ross-shire.

Rural Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochead announced that £40,052 has been earmarked for an upland management plan at the Ben Wyvis Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Allt na Caorach Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Ross-shire. The project includes woodland, wildlife and open range deer management. This work will play an important role in bringing the notified special features of the Clach Liath na Caorach SSSI and Ben Wyvis SAC back towards favourable condition as well as enhancing the habitat for black grouse.

Mr Lochead also stated that Tongue Common Grazings Committee in north Sutherland has been awarded £93,938 to manage the 440 hectare West Borgie peatland SSSI. This will keep the site in favourable condition and help the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands SAC, Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site to remain in favourable condition. Plans include moorland grazing on upland and peatland and removal of scrub and woody vegetation from the site. This will contribute to the National Target of bringing the notified special features of 95% of Scotland’s nationally important nature sites into favourable condition, or maintaining them in favourable condition

The announcement which is part of the rural priorities part of the latest round of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP), will see jobs created and safeguarded.

Mr Gibson said....

"This announcement has multiple benefits, it will see local community take a active control of their environment as well as creating jobs and benefiting the environment."

"In this climate change age it is especially important that peat lands are maintained and brought into use. They are a vital aspect of the environment that lock away carbon, which in turn helps meets Scotland's carbon reduction targets."

"The North of Scotland is going to play a vital role in the future of Scotland, the Scottish Government realise this, and are investing in it. Announcements like this not only go some way to safeguarding the environment but also the communities that work in the places supported by this scheme."


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