Partnership helps safeguard top nature site on Loch Lomond's bonnie banks
Last modified: 27 April 2012
RSPB Scotland is hoping to secure the future of one of the most important conservation sites in Central Scotland, after successfully purchasing land at the Wards Estate.
Situated close to Gartocharn at the south east shore of Loch Lomond, the estate is home to a rich variety of wildlife that inhabit the woodlands, mires, fens, grasslands and floodplain of the River Endrick, making this one of the most important wildlife sites in the UK.
The conservation charity has unveiled plans for a 563 acre nature reserve that it will manage in a pioneering partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority(LLTNPA). This major purchase, of which RSPB Scotland will contribute a majority share of the total cost, will be made possible thanks to the partnering organisations plus a grant of £172,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF). An appeal for donations from RSPB members and the public has also been launched. It comes exactly 50 years after this part of Loch Lomond was first declared a National Nature Reserve.
The partnership will ensure that the site will be managed as a hot spot for wildlife on Loch Lomond supporting breeding and wintering waders and waterfowl, and nationally rare plants such as the endemic Scottish or Loch Lomond dock. Ospreys are regular summer residents and can be enjoyed by all who visit this very special part of the national park.
It’s the first time that a non-government wildlife charity, a national park and a statutory conservation body have joined forces in this way to acquire and look after a key site for biodiversity and people in Scotland.
Anne McCall, Regional Director for RSPB Scotland in the South and West said: “We’re delighted that we can be part of this exciting partnership, not only saving an area rich in all types of wildlife but also making nature more accessible to the thousands of people that live in the central belt of Scotland and beyond. This reserve will be a perfect companion to our new store at Lomond Shores and we look forward to working with our partners and the local community in the coming months to sensitively progress our plans.”
Andrew Bachell, Director of Operations for SNH said: “SNH is pleased to be working with RSPB Scotland and the National Park Authority in looking after a significant portion of the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. Our new partnership means that this important reserve will be an even better place for wildlife and for people. We hope to see this reserve reaching its full potential as a community and visitor asset in the national park.”
Fiona Logan, CEO of the National Park Authority said: “The purchase of Wards Estate by RSPB Scotland and the partnership between RSPB, SNH and the National Park Authority will provide a unique opportunity to show people some of the wonderful nature so close to central Scotland. The purchase of this special and highly designated area means that the land will be managed to deliver the National Park aims. In particular it will enhance the conservation of the area and it will provide visitors with a great experience. We look forward to a positive working relationship with both RSPB and SNH”
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