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Old December 3rd, 2010, 05:26 PM   #1
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Scottish Environment

New environment laws a stage closer


The principles of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill have been backed by the Scottish Parliament, bringing a new era for the management of the countryside a stage closer.

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham presented the legislation which is designed to maintain the high quality of the natural environment. It will make sure that the laws governing wildlife are responsive to the needs of economic and social development in Scotland.

Ms Cunningham said:

"These proposals take into account the many demands we put on the countryside, whether we are land managers, conservationists, deer stalkers or walkers. The Bill is designed to balance all of those needs, make sure that the law recognises them and applies balance in dealing with them.

"The impact of the Bill is wide ranging, from measures to crackdown on wildlife crime to plans to update deer management, but the overall aim is to protect the high quality of our natural environment and its biodiversity.

"The Scottish Parliament has shown its support by backing the principles of the Bill and we have taken the first step in ensuring that the countryside continues to be one of our most valuable and natural assets."

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Rele...10/12/03074705
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Old December 5th, 2010, 09:36 PM   #2
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Was reading about the Caledonian Forest recently and here's a list of the animals we have lost in the last 600 years or so:

European beaver (Castor fiber)

Wild boar (Sus scrofa)

Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)

Elk or moose (Alces alces)

Brown bear (Ursus arctos)

Wolf (Canis lupus)

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

Aurochs or wild ox (Bos primigenius)
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Old December 5th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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I didn't know we use to have Moose or Brown bears. I wonder how the reintroduction of beavers back into the wild is going on.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 01:44 AM   #4
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wtf happened that caused NL to be banned?
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milton View Post
wtf happened that caused NL to be banned?
Banned didn't see that coming. Also notice let forever be is also banned.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:37 AM   #6
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LFB's been banned for a while. He lost his head big-style in this thread, and kept digging the hole deeper even when given the opportunity to surrender the shovel.

I can't imagine why NL would have been banned.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #7
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Yikes! I had no idea NL got banned either! Unless he's just written BANNED as many people do on their wee tagline?
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #8
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I've just written 'BANNED' as my user title, exactly as it appears under NL's name, and it comes out as a row of asterisks. So NL's ban may be genuine. Or he's fiendishly managed to make a German Eszett look exactly like a Latin B...
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #9
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I'm still here folks

I used the Greek N instead of the Latin N I've become quite the joker this festive season.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #10
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haha, nice one!
I was fooled like the chump I am.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #11
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Fishing quotas


The Scottish Government is preparing for an expanded catch quota scheme for 2011 and will provide up to £400,000 to cover the cost of acquiring onboard monitoring equipment.

Unlike traditional quotas, where vessels have a set limit on the fish they can land and are forced to throw excess fish back in the sea dead, catch quotas allow for all fish caught to be landed. By stopping wasteful discards, this means fewer fish are taken from the sea yet more can be landed by fishermen.

To ensure there are no discards, the fishing practices of participating vessels is fully documented through on-board cameras. The £400,000 will be used for the purchase and installation of the monitoring equipment.

Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead said:

"The practice of discarding fish back into the sea, dead, is enforced on our fishermen through the EU's flawed Common Fisheries Policy. This is an abhorrent practice that fishermen dislike, and flies in the face of our attempts to manage fish stocks sustainably.

"Catch quotas alone will not provide the solution to all the difficulties facing our fleets and fundamental changes to the European fisheries policy are needed. However, what our catch quota scheme achieves is to combine environmental responsibility with income opportunities. Extra quota is available to those taking part in the scheme, which removes the need to discard viable fish.

"We will continue to work with the industry to monitor this scheme as it is expanded in 2011 and get it working at its best. The future of Scotland's fishing industry can only be secured through the continued co-operation of government and industry, with a shared determination to find solutions that sustain fish stocks yet keep the industry viable in these tough economic times."

On December 3, the annual EU-Norway bilateral included agreement for Scotland's catch quota scheme to more than double the 17 vessels currently involved in the trial to land, rather than be forced to discard, an extra amount equal to 12 per cent of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for cod.

The Scottish Government has written to skippers to invite applications to participate in the catch quota scheme for 2011, with a full subscription expected.

In 2009, 60,000 tonnes of North Sea whitefish worth £68 million were landed in Scotland, while the total catches were 88,000 tonnes worth an estimated £101 million. This means that last year Scottish vessels were forced by the Common Fisheries Policy to discard almost 28,000 tonnes of fish, valued at £33 million.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Rele...10/12/17103811
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 11:09 PM   #12
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I am not for building a bypass more urban sprawl on green land ?.

Aberdeen bypass legal challenge begins



A campaign group's legal challenge against Aberdeen's controversial bypass has begun.

The £400m road was given the go-ahead by Scottish ministers in December 2009 following a lengthy public inquiry.

However, the start of work was delayed when legal objections were lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Opponents criticise the cost and environmental impact of the plan, which is aimed at creating a fast link to the north, west and south of Aberdeen.

Many business leaders support the project.

Campaign group Road Sense challenged the lawfulness of approving the bypass.

It was agreed at the start of the case that it will continue in the name of one man, Road Sense chairman William Walton.

The campaigners secured a court victory over costs in the case last month.

A judge limited to £40,000 the contribution Road Sense could be asked to pay Scottish government lawyers if the case goes against them.

The group had argued that rules governing public participation in such decision-making gave them the right to pursue their objections without risking financial ruin.

The court agreed on Tuesday that the Protective Expense Order would apply to Mr Walton himself.

The Aberdeen City and Shire's Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) previously called for a swift conclusion to the legal action.

The SDPA said other improvements to the road network were dependent on the bypass moving ahead.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...tland-12522720
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:21 PM   #13
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Snare row as wildlife bill passed by MSPs



A new wildlife bill which includes stricter regulations on animal snares has been passed by MSPs.

A controversial amendment which sought a ban on snares was voted down in favour of tougher rules on their use.

The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill also imposes tougher penalties on employers if their staff illegally poison birds.

There is a new criminal vicarious liability offence for those who turn a blind eye to bird persecution.

The bill also includes improvements in approachs to dealing with invasive non-native species and changes to deer management.

Supporters of a ban on snares said animals such as badgers and mountain hares were suffering horrible injures and death after being caught in them.

However, opponents said an effective method to control predators, such as foxes, was vital.

Labour MSP Irene Oldfather, who tabled the amendment on banning snares, argued that, even when they are used legally, "animal suffering cannot be avoided".

She said: "Scotland should treat its beautiful wild animals with respect and accept once and for all that killing them in wire nooses is a technique which must be consigned to the dustbin of history."

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "Crofters, gamekeepers and farmers all over Scotland need to be able to protect their crops and livestock."

She added that if the amendment was agreed they would have "no other option than lamping and shooting".

The decision to vote down the ban on snares was condemned by animal rights charities the League Against Cruel Sports and The Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT).

The League's Scottish spokeswoman Louise Robertson said: "The overwhelming will of the public has been ignored here today and animals will continue to suffer in their thousands as a result."

SWT head of policy Tony King said their use was "indiscriminate and therefore against European conservation law".

However, the continued use of snares was welcomed by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

GWCT Scottish director Dr Adam Smith said the new legislation "will make the practice of snaring in the future for the control of pest species more
effective and more humane".



Hen harrier decline sparks row over Scottish estates



The numbers of one of Scotland's rarest birds of prey have fallen by more than a fifth, according to new research.

RSPB Scotland blamed the decline in hen harriers on illegal persecution on managed grouse moors.

But estate managers said the were being unfairly blamed for the killing of birds of prey.

MSPs will vote on the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill later, which would make it easier to prosecute estates who kill protected birds.

It is thought there are now fewer than 500 pairs of hen harriers in Scotland, while the species is close to extinction in England.

The research from RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage estimates hen harrier numbers in Scotland have dropped to 489 pairs, from 633 pairs in 2004.

'Systematic persecution'

The hen harrier is subject to special conservation measures under European Union and domestic conservation legislation.

Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, claimed there was "systematic and illegal persecution" in areas associated with managed grouse moor management, notably in the central and eastern Highlands and the Southern Uplands of Scotland.

"The illegal killing of these specially protected species, cannot be an acceptable part of legitimate modern day sporting practices," he added.

The Scottish Parliament is set to debate the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill before deciding whether to pass it at its final stage.

Mr Housden urged the adoption of amendments designed to remove sporting rights from landowners where there is a history of illegal activity.

"Vicarious liability" would make landowners criminally responsible for the actions of their employees.

But rural and land management organisations accused the conservation groups of scaremongering.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (Scotland), the Scottish Countryside Alliance, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, the Scottish Estates Business Group and the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association claimed the RSPB statistics were flawed.

Spokesman Tim Baynes said: "All of our organisations condemn the illegal killing of any bird of prey.

"However, the causes of hen harrier decline are many and complex and, according to the RSPB's own figures, there has only been one recorded incident of hen harrier persecution in the past six years."

The Wildlife Bill also includes plans to regulate the use of snares, which could see them banned.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12617877
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Old March 4th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #14
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'"Vicarious liability" would make landowners criminally responsible for the actions of their employees.'

Why on earth should a landowner be responsible for the criminal actions of his employees? If an employer conspires with an employee to commit a criminal act, then it is already a criminal offence. If, however, the landowner had no say in the matter, I don't see any sort of wrongdoing on his part. It's rather like charging a managing director because one of his employees went on a killing spree during office hours.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #15
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Because they are employed by the landowner to look after the estate/land and if you get penalties it puts the man in charged under more pressure and may result in sacking any staff caught in illegal activity, if you can't control your employees your not in control.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 09:57 PM   #16
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Warm wind draws tree sparrows to Lewis in the Hebrides



The UK tree sparrow population declined between 1970 and 2008

Warm winds are believed to have encouraged tree sparrows to breed on the island of Lewis in the Hebrides for the first time in 25 years.

RSPB Scotland officer Martin Scott came across the birds while carrying out a survey of bees.

Smaller than house sparrows, the species is resident in southern Scotland and in England and Ireland.

Mr Scott said southerly winds in spring may have enticed the sparrows further north than normal.

The UK tree sparrow population suffered a severe decline between 1970 and 2008, according to the RSPB.

However, the charity said recent breeding bird survey data suggested that numbers may have started to increase.

Mr Scott said: "I was doing bee surveys and heard the distinctive 'chup' call of a tree sparrow.

"I looked up and there was an adult feeding a juvenile on the fence in front of me - I couldn't believe my eyes."

He added: "The general lack of trees on the islands hasn't stopped a flock of birds from establishing a small colony."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...lands-14401249
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Old September 14th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #17
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World’s first ‘greenspace’ map launched

Urban Realm 14th September 2011




A map which documents all urban greenspace in Scotland is claimed to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Scotland’s Greenspace Map, published today, brings together data from all 32 local authorities in Scotland to locate parks, playing fields, allotments and gardens.

The map reveals that there are currently 1,112sq/km of greenspace within the countries urban centres, an area which (if combined) would encompass an area over 20 times the size of Loch Ness.

Developed by greenspace Scotland the map is intended to serve as a yardstick by which to measure future growth or contraction in these important amenities - as well as as an interactive tool to inform the public.

Julie Procter, Chief Executive of greenspace scotland said:"Scotland's Greenspace Map is a first for the UK and, we believe, a world first. The Map is a significant achievement for Scotland and a powerful demonstration of how effectively national and local Scottish organisations can work together on projects of national importance.

“Nowhere else in the world can people check out their local greenspace at the click of a button. Behind that simple action lies several years of work with local authorities to develop consistent data and collaboration with partners to collate the information and develop ways of making the data widely accessible."


Last edited by Pious Fraud; September 14th, 2011 at 02:09 PM.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #18
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Pylon re-design shortlist unveiled

Urban Realm 15th September 2011


Quote:
A competition to redesign the all pervasive British electricity pylon has seen six new entries shortlisted for the £10k prize – and a possibility of being used by the National Grid for future expansion of the network.

Since May architects, engineers, students and designers have been beavering away on a range of aesthetic alternatives to the lumpen grey lattice which presently defile much of our countryside.

Six of their efforts have now been shortlisted for the prize with the winner to be announced shortly after October 5.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #19
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Quite like this one. Simple, geometric, unobtrusive but interesting.

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Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:17 PM   #20
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Dumfries and Galloway police cameras guard bird nests





Advanced wildlife protection equipment is being deployed by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary in a bid to safeguard birds of prey.

The force is thought to be one of the first in Scotland to secure funding to install cameras at nesting sites.

The footage can then be monitored from the police control room for any criminal activity.

Wildlife officer, Pc Jim Drysdale, said it could help keep a check on "fairly remote" parts of the region.

"We have set up very covert cameras which are very small and hard to see and they cover the nest site," he said.

"Also, within the nest site, they are ringed by alarm systems.

"We have had problems in the past where alarms would go off and you would have to physically go and check.

"Now when the alarm system goes off we just monitor a screen and see if anything has happened."

If there is evidence of any illegal activity, police officers can be sent to the scene.

However, Pc Drysdale said that, as well as catching criminals, the cameras could act as a significant deterrent.

"It is not all about out detection, it's about prevention," he said.

"If this system prevents people coming into Dumfries and Galloway and stealing nests, eggs, chicks or whatever, that is just as good to us."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...tland-15017174
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