If you've any news about Highland biodiversity and the environment that you'd like us to share, get in touch with Caroline at highlandenvironmentforum@gmail.com

09 March 2019'The Salmon of wisdom runs deep' - Rewilding Highland rivers




Rivers and all the wildlife associated with them, are the focus of this year’s Highland Biodiversity Conference.

The Salmon of Wisdom swims deep ~ Rewilding Highland Rivers is being held at Inverness College, UHI on Saturday 30th March, and is a partnership event between the Highland Environment Forum and the college.

The conference will be exploring our understanding of river systems and asking have we got the right balance for wildlife, hydroelectric dams, the potential for natural flood management and landscape beauty.

Expert speakers are coming from across the region to address the conference and share their knowledge. Chris Daphne, Fisheries Officer with the Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust said:

“I have been passionate about studying eels since childhood. Their rapidly declining numbers show that we must do all that we can to help their survival in our rivers.”

Chris will be highlighting the complexity of life in our river systems, the importance of having a greater understanding of this, and of managing rivers to the benefit of all life that depends on them.

Dr Mark Coulson, also speaking at the conference, echoed Chris’ views saying:

“Work at the UHI Rivers and Lochs Institute is focussed on better understanding river systems, and making our findings available, so that rivers can be better managed, My own work studying DNA has revealed previously unknown details of life in our rivers and lochs. I am looking forward to sharing them at the conference.”

It is not just the river waters that matter, the land that borders it - the riparian belt - is also vitally important to having healthy rivers. Penny Lawson works for the Spey Catchment Initiative, which includes riverside tree planting amongst its ambitious plans for the river, Penny commented :

“Climate change and hotter summers can cause real problems for our rivers, particularly in the shallow upper reaches where salmon eggs are killed off in if the water temperature gets too high. The shading provided by deciduous trees helps enormously, by reducing heat, and through leaf fall adding to the river’s nutrients. I’m really looking forward to learning more about organic matter in rivers from the researchers from the UHI Environmental Research Institute in Thurso. It is such a key part of a healthy river and food supply for the whole system,”

Giles Brockman of Forest Estate Scotland, chairs the group that has planned the conference, and is delighted with the way that the programme has come together:

“This promises to be a great day for learning from, and talking to, experts in river ecology. The Highlands are famed for out rivers and I’m sure that this day will trigger many interesting conversations about how we can make sure that we are looking after them to the very best of our abilities.”

Full programme details and booking is at https://highland-biodiversity-conference.eventbrite.co.uk

04 March 2019Areas of ecological importance

This is a thoughtful blog 'Area of Ecological Importance' from highly resepected naturalist and conservationist, Roy Dennis on the crucial importance areas of ecological importance at a time of climate change and pressure on the world's ecosystems.

28 February 2019John Muir Trust, Policy Officer vacancy

John Muir Trust, Policy Officer - based Pitlochry or Edinburgh. To research and, working with Trust staff, prepare Trust policies and advocate those to decision-makers and a wider audience. Full time, permanent post. Salary: £26 -28 K. Closing date: 13th March

Find out more here

Photograph of Quinag by Fran Lockhart

11 February 2019Scotland's Forestry Stategy published

Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019–2029 can be downloaded here.

18 January 2019SEPA Sector Plans out for Consultation

'We're changing today, creating a world-class organisation fit for the challenges of tomorrow. Moving our regulation from individual sites to a sectoral approach supports the aim that all regulated businesses fully meet their compliance objectives and as many as possible go further. Providing a clear and co-ordinated approach to regulation and engagement, sector plans will be at the heart of everything we do and will help businesses to operate successfully within the means of one planet.’
The nine plans open for consultation until Friday 15 February are:
·         Chemicals manufacturing
·         Crop production
·         Dairy processing
·         Dairy production
·         Housing
·         Leather
·         Nuclear power generation and decommissioning
·         Strategic infrastructure (transport and utilities)
·         Water supply and waste water

Go to https://sectors.sepa.org.uk/ to see all the consultations.


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