Leading environmental charity launch new report setting out a vital areas for Scotland’s nature

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LEADING environmentalist charities have launched a new report that sets out 11 areas that need to be worked on for nature’s recovery in Scotland.

RSPB Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and WWF Scotland launched the report today that has been supported by over 20 environmental charities and organisations.

The action plan calls on the Scottish Government to invest immediately in five areas in the highlighted plan.

They would like to see restorations and protection to Scotland’s Peatlands; restoring and expanding the native woodlands; tackling deer management’ creating a new system to support nature and climate friendly farming and linking up wild places by delivering a Scottish Nature Network.

Environmental charity launch plan to help Scotland's nature recover
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, adult sitting on grassland with young, RSPB Oronsay Nature Reserve, Scotland (C) Amy Millard (rspb-images.com

The action plan would see more nature based jobs created in the long term and would benefit health and wellbeing for many as well.

During the past months, many people have turned to nature for solace and to support their wellbeing.

Despite lockdown highlighting that access to nature is not equal, many people became more aware of their local wildlife through spending more time in greenspaces on their doorstep and through lower levels of human activity making birdsong easier to hear.

Whilst nature’s importance has become increasingly clear, our natural environment was in trouble long before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The past few years have seen heightened awareness of the nature and climate emergencies, which require urgent and concerted action across the world.

Environmental charity launch plan to help Scotland's nature recover
RSPB Forsinard Flows; view from visitor trail, including snow-capped Ben Griam (C) Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)

A 2019 UN report concluded that without urgent transformative change a million species could be lost globally, many within decades. In Scotland, the 2019 State of Nature Report found that 49% of species have declined and one in nine is threatened with national extinction.

The restoration and protection of nature is amongst the most effective solutions to multiple problems the world is facing.

Anne McCall, Director of Scotland for the RSPB, said: “We are very pleased to be able to present this action plan for nature’s recovery.

“Like many people, getting out in nature was vital for me during lockdown, but we know we must do a lot more to ensure that nature can thrive across Scotland and to ensure that everyone can access the delights and inspiration that wildlife can bring.

“Delivering this suite of actions and prioritising investment in habitat restoration as part of a green recovery will help to build a more resilient, nature-rich Scotland.”

Jo Pike, Chief Executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust said:?”Nature is our life support system, but it is in trouble. Time is running out to secure the transformative?recovery needed to address the crises facing our natural environment, our climate and our economy.

“Despite welcome recognition by the Scottish Government that investing in nature is an essential step towards a new economy based on improved wellbeing, we still need a plan that sets out what action will be taken to support nature’s recovery, and how it will be funded.

“From protecting peatlands and restoring native woodlands to connecting fragmented wildlife habitats and ensuring our seas are sustainably managed, urgent action on the measures identified in our report can help underpin a truly transformative green recovery.”