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09 August, 2017

Environment Cabinet Secretary visits Glen Nevis project

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham visited Glen Nevis today to learn first-hand about an innovative programme worth almost £4M to protect and enhance the unique biodiversity, geology, history and heritage of this important natural site.

Ms Cunningham planted a Scots Pine tree to support Glen Nevis native pinewood regeneration.

The five-year Heritage Lottery Funded programme is a partnership between Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Forestry Commission Scotland, John Muir Trust, Highland Council and the Nevis Partnership, which host the programme and employ the six staff delivering the 19 projects.

Project work includes planting pine seedlings, removing non-native conifers within the pinewood area that out-compete native trees, and improving habitat for species such as black grouse, pine marten, barn owls and red squirrels.

Ms Cunningham said:

"It’s great to see such a broad range of projects, successfully managing the balance between conservation and visitor pressures. I hope the community spirit at the heart of the initiative will inspire others to follow their lead, and I was pleased to have the chance to do my bit by planting one of the pine seedlings."

Mike Cantlay, SNH chair, added: “We were delighted to welcome the cabinet secretary to Glen Nevis. It’s wonderful to see such an ambitious programme of work benefitting both people and the environment in truly a special place. This adds to the work we’re doing with partners across Lochaber to protect and enrich the stunning nature of the area, as well as to generate social and economic benefits.”

Freja MacDougall, Nevis Landscape Partnership Communications Officer, said:  “The delivery team are delighted that the our environmental projects are being recognised by the Scottish Government. Ms Cunningham's visit to our Future Forests enclosures gave the cabinet secretary a chance to see our re-forestation efforts at ground level, and we were delighted when she volunteered to plant a Scots Pine seedling. The opportunity to discuss a sustainable future for the Nevis landscape with Ms. Cunningham was thoroughly appreciated and we welcome future visits and discussions.”

Two of the programme’s key projects, Future Forests & Pinewood Restoration, are focused on improving the Caledonian forest in upper Glen Nevis. These projects, which are led by Nevis Landscape Partnership with significant input from local and national groups, form part of the Scottish Government’s aim to see a quarter of Scotland under woodland cover.

ENDS

MEDIA QUERIES

Contact SNH press & PR officer, Vicki Mowat, on 0131 316 2659 or vicki.mowat@snh.gov.uk (Tuesday to Friday) or the SNH main press office on 01463 725 022 (Monday).

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Notes to editors

Pinewood regeneration is one of the many actions being taken forward in Scotland’s Biodiversity - A Route Map to 2020. The Route Map sets out the big steps needed to implement the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy 2020 Challenge, including ecosystem restoration and wildlife conservation.  The SBS 2020 Challenge is Scotland’s response to the Aichi Targets set by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity calling for a step change in efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity and restore essential services that a healthy natural environment provides.

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