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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-16039: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 18 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what contribution national nature reserves make toward achieving Scottish Biodiversity Strategy targets.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 May 2018

Scottish Natural Heritage’s (SNH’s) 36 National Nature Reserves (NNRs) contribute directly to many of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy targets. For example:

  •  SNH has active or planned peatland restoration and conservation work on ten of its reserves. Four reserves are also used in support of the Scotland-wide Peatland Action Programme to host peatland management demonstration and contractor training events.
  •  SNH’s reserves help conserve about 6,000 ha of native woodland and SNH pursues woodland conservation and expansion on at least 9 NNRs, including the piloting of novel woodland restoration and expansion approaches.
  •  SNH’s NNRs generate more than 600,000 visits to the countryside and provide for 3,500 education visits and work-experience for school pupils and placements for students on environmental management courses. Where possible, efforts are directed at supporting schools in the most disadvantaged areas.
  •  SNH’s NNRs conserve 818 (c15% of all) ‘designated’ protected natural features of overlapping sites of special scientific interest and Natura sites. 94.9% of these are in favourable or unfavourable recovering condition, where there was an on-site remedy. (The comparable figure for all features with an onsite remedy is 87.2%).
  •  SNH’s NNRs support improving connectivity through collaboration in wider landscape initiatives such as Cairngorms Connect, the Carse of Stirling Project and the Cairngorms National Park Forest and Woodland Network.