Scotland’s nature is at risk: will you join the fight?

25 Mar 2019

This blog is by Charles Dundas, Public Affairs Manager for Scotland at the Woodland Trust, and was first published on the Woodland Trust website.

Scotland’s nature is amazing. Long famed for its breathtaking landscapes, from sweeping Caledonian pine forests to pristine freshwater habitats and wetlands. All of which support a vast variety of wildlife. It’s unthinkable that this could be at risk of being lost. Yet, a recent report estimates that 1 in 11 of Scotland’s species face extinction unless we take action. 

We can’t let this happen. We must press the Scottish Government to take action to protect it.

Scotland’s natural world is truly iconic

Mighty ancient Scots pine forests are home to red squirrels, Scottish wildcats and capercaillie. Carbon-rich deep peat moorland hosts an abundance of butterflies and insects. Temperate Atlantic rainforests teem with more than 500 species of mosses, ferns, lichens and liverworts. And that’s just three of Scotland’s many important habitats.

But our ancient woodland is in trouble

Our native woodlands are home to many of Scotland’s valuable species. But they have been severely reduced by deforestation over the years. Now, only 1% of Scotland is covered by ancient woodland – rich, complex ecosystems that have developed over centuries.

This tiny proportion is now threatened even more by over-grazing, and choking from fast-spreading plants like rhododendron. Ancient woodland is irreplaceable. It needs better protection.

Reverse the environmental decline

Scotland’s environment underpins much of the country’s business and the communities that it supports. 14% of jobs in Scotland depend on the natural environment.

In common with most other countries, many of Scotland’s natural sites are in a state of decline. For us, this is due to:

  • unsustainable land management practices
  • pollution
  • failure to integrate various land uses.

We don’t just need to halt this decline. We need to reverse it.

Working together to fight for Scotland’s nature

2020 is a critical year for the culmination of global efforts to halt biodiversity loss. To better protect our species and habitats from the threats they face,we have joined 34 other environmental charities from across Scotland to launch the Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign.

A Scottish Environment Act

We believe that the best way to safeguard the future of Scotland’s nature is for the Scottish Government to pass a new Environment Act. It must have real ambition for our environmental policy, and set us onto a clear path towards a more sustainable future.

We need strong legislation to ensure our environment is healthy, thriving, and can keep providing for our wellbeing. We need to lock in existing EU environmental protections and make sure we don’t fall behind the EU and our global partners in the coming years.

Scotland’s nature is already in decline. If we don’t act now, that lost protection will mean more species and habitat loss. We need our environment to support our businesses, our communities and our lives. We must look after it properly.

Stand up for Scotland’s nature – respond to the consultation

Right now, the Scottish Government is seeking views on the future of environmental protections in Scotland. We need to tell the Government that we need a Scottish Environment Act to protect and enhance our precious nature – now and for the future.

It’s important our voices are heard, this is a huge opportunity to make a difference and better protect Scotland’s natural world. The consultation closes on 11 May.

Stand up for the incredible nature of Scotland. Sign the petition and respond to the consultation.

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