Standing Up for Wildlife

In a world dominated by man, wildlife needs a voice and we together with the RSPB and other wildlife charities try to campaign on its behalf in our local area.

We have a team that looks at the Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Forestry planning applications and takes action if they endanger protected species or habitats.

We also work with the local planning authorities when they are drawing up their development plans and the rules that are going to govern their decision making.

Lastly we consult the local naturalist community to identify Local Nature Conservation Sites. These are places valuable for the wildlife they support but which have no legal protection. We inform the local authorities of their locations, so they in turn can inform and warn potential developers.

If you want to inform us about wildlife sites you worry about, let us know via our Contact Us form.

Examples of recent campaigning issues are:

  • The wildlife and bluebell woods threatened by the Park of Keir proposal
  • The habitats and species threatened by the Jerah forestry application on the Ochils above Menstrie
  • Rare plant sites on the Beauly to Denny power line
  • A Butterfly Orchid meadow threatened by a housing development in Plean
  • Opposing the construction of wind turbines at Black Devon wetlands

Checking a planning application

Contacting your MSPs and/or Local Councillors regarding Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS)

Information sheet on contacting your MSPs and/or Local Councillors regarding Invasive Non-Native Species, (INNS), focusing for our purposes in Stirling and Clacks on INNS Plants, and especially Giant Hogweed (GHW), a plant whose sap is also poisonous to humans. Other nearby areas have problems with Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed too, which often grow on the banks of watercourses. Areas in the West of Scotland have problems with Rhododendron ponticum.

If you wish, use some or all of the bullet points below to help you write your message to your MSPs and or your Local Councillors. Please do not just cut and paste it as it is, if you want your response to be taken seriously. Please take a bit of time to pick out the issues most important to you and put them into your own words. Perhaps make reference to your own local area, perhaps to observations you have made yourself, of particular INNS local to you. If you want to write your own message entirely, of course do so.

If you don’t live in the Stirling or Clackmannanshire area, you could try to find out a bit about the situation in your own area and include information about that. A good starting point would be to contact any local Angling Club, as their activities are often adversely affected by INNS Plants, and they may themselves work on removing INNS, for example pulling Himalayan Balsam by hand, which is easily done at the right time of year.

Bullet points you could use, but in your own words

  • In law, Landowners have a duty to control INNS on their land where there is a risk of it spreading to land owned by others.
  • By definition, INNS plants are likely to spread to land owned by others, often via seeds or roots being carried down watercourses.
  • In addition, INNS plants crowd out native plants, especially on the banks of watercourses, but elsewhere too.
  • Some Landowners decline to take action, even when their responsibilities are pointed out to them.
  • This includes some landowners which are public bodies.
  • No organisation we have found is willing to take any enforcement action when Landowners decline to act. Not Scottish Government, not Local Authorities, not Scottish Natural Heritage, (shortly changing its name to Nature.Scot).
  • In Stirling Council area/ Perth and Kinross Council area, funding by SNH / Nature.Scot has now been cut for a Project, previously run by Forth Rivers Trust, for control by spraying of GHW along the Allan Water from the headwaters downstream
  • This Project has involved a major commitment of Volunteers’ time from the headwaters of the Allan Water right down to Bridge of Allan / Cornton.
  • The Project has so far made a very significant beneficial impact on enabling native plants to return, but more years of control are necessary to eradicate GHW. Short-term funding of this Project is entirely counter-productive
  • The breaking off of funding means that GHW will return and in a few years will very likely be as bad as it was before.
  • The very significant commitment of time by Volunteer sprayers over the past 6 years or so, will have been a wasted effort. Volunteers feel used and abused.
  • Forth Rivers Trust is very keen for the programme of eradication of GHW on the Allan Water to be continued but have failed to persuade SNH /Nature.Scot to continue funding it.
  • Concerned citizens seem to have no recourse, except through their representatives on Local Councils and their MSPs, with the aim of trying to get long-term funding, and an agreed approach to Enforcement on Landowners who decline to act in line with their responsibilities.

Contact details for you MSPs can be found via the link below. Click at the top middle of the page and enter your Postcode. Every resident of Scotland has one Constituency MSP and a number of List MSPs for their Region – usually about 7 of them. You can copy the same email or letter to them all.

Scottish Parliament

Find the contact details of your Local Councillors, (often a team of about 3 for your area), by searching in your Local Council Website. Your Council is whoever collects your bins and runs your local schools. Ask a neighbour if you don’t know for sure. The Council website will have a section about all the Councillors. Search by ‘Find my Councillor’ or similar and enter your Postcode. As with MSPs, you can send the same email or letter to all of your Councillors. Click here for an example of the Councillors section for Stirling Council:

To read up more on INNS in general, see here:

Thank you so much for your support

Scottish Wildlife Trust, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Group.

February 2020.