Caithness wetlands and waders initiative
The wetlands and associated farmlands of Caithness support a range of declining or rare species, including a nationally important population of breeding waders, overwintering twite and the great yellow bumblebee.
- To provide a strategic approach to the provision of high-quality habitat for breeding waders, twite and the great yellow bumblebee through targeted Rural Priorities funding applications.
- To foster a collaboration between conservationists, agriculturalists and land managers which pools skills to maximise delivery for key habitats and species in Caithness.
- To identify land management projects (additional to RP options) of benefit to farms and key species and access funding to support them in Caithness.
- To supply equipment and expertise for the delivery of land management initiatives eg rush control, grazing management, seed mixes, soil aeration and wetland creation and management.
- To raise awareness of the importance of the key species in Caithness and how appropriate land management on farms can help them to survive.
Through farm habitat and wildlife surveys and working alongside farmers keen to enhance their wildlife and contribute to climate change targets a wide range of farms and crofts are already involved. Many farms now have agri-environment measures in place, but there are still large areas in Caithness where the important wildlife such as curlew, lapwing and great yellow bumblebee are still in decline and much more needs to be done.
CWWI partners have been involved in supporting farms and research into habitat and predator management for curlews and working through the Working for Waders national partnership on wader projects at Thrumster. Many farms now have bee and wildlife flower crops thanks to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and the work of the agricultural advisers.
Other ongoing activities will include free provision of the CWWI rush topper and aerator, holding good practice events and engaging in advocacy initiatives. If you are a farmer in Caithness and would like borrow our equipment please phone Cat MacGregor of SRUC (SAC Consulting) on 01847 892602.