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23 November, 2017

Orcadians to help shape wildlife project

Orcadians to help shape wildlife project: ONWP all logos

A lottery-funded project set up to protect Orkney’s native wildlife from invasive non-native stoats is encouraging the community to get involved and help shape the development of future work.

The Orkney Native Wildlife Project has launched a community consultation today (23 November) to gather the thoughts and ideas of Orkney’s residents and invite people to give their views on a range of proposed opportunities for people to engage with the project, including wildlife surveys, workshops, family events, evening talks and cultural events.

Amy King, the Project Development Officer, hopes the consultation will also encourage Orcadians to find out more about the project and why Orkney’s incredible native wildlife needs protecting. During the consultation Amy and the project team will be travelling around the islands talking to local community groups and holding a range of public events.

Amy said: “We all need to work together if we are going to successfully safeguard Orkney’s fantastic native wildlife and so I am really keen to hear if people have additional ideas that we might add to the project plan. We also want to hear people’s thoughts on the activities we are developing as part of the project to give as many folk as possible the chance to get involved.”

The Orkney Native Wildlife Project is a partnership between Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and RSPB Scotland, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project aims to ensure that Orkney’s native wildlife is protected from the impact of invasive non-native stoats and continues to provide benefits for the islands’ residents, visitors and economy.

Orkney is an important place for wildlife. Although it accounts for less than 0.5% of the UK’s landmass, Orkney is nationally and internationally important for a range of species. For example, the islands are home to more than a fifth of the UK’s breeding hen harriers and a third of the UK’s breeding Arctic terns. They also have the highest densities of breeding curlews in the UK.

However, stoats pose a significant threat to many of Orkney’s native species, including the hen harrier, short-eared owl and the unique Orkney vole.

Development funding of £64,600 was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help the partnership progress plans for an ambitious stoat eradication project before applying for a full grant of more than £3 million in early 2018.

Community groups that would like to receive a talk from the Orkney Native Wildlife Project team, or find out more about the project, should get in touch with Amy King on 01856 886 161 or amy.king@snh.gov.uk. The consultation runs until February 2018 and the questionnaire is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C8662JK as well as at various locations across Orkney.

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. www.hlf.org.uk  

First-round pass

Heritage Grants applications are assessed in two rounds.  A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

About Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help people understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at www.snh.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SNH_Tweets

About RSPB Scotland

RSPB Scotland is part of the RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

For further information and interviews contact:

Kirsty Nutt, RSPB Scotland Communications Manager, 01224 627869 or 07711 385595 or kirsty.nutt@rspb.org.uk

Contact information

Name
Dominic Shann
Job Title
Media relations lead for marine management
Telephone
01463 725157
Email
dominic.shann@snh.gov.uk
Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help people understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at www.snh.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SNH_Tweets

Tha Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba na buidheann comhairleachaidh dhan riaghaltas a thaobh nàdair agus seallaidhean-tìre air feadh Alba. ’S e an dleastanas a th’ againn cuideachadh a thoirt do dhaoine gus tuigse, luach agus tlachd fhaighinn bho nàdar na h-Alba, an-dràsta agus san àm ri teachd. Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh, tadhail air www.snh.gov.uk/gaelic  no lean sinn air Twitter aig http://twitter.com/SNH_Tweets

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