Woodland Trust to fight largest ever UK loss of woodland
Help save 160 hectares (400 acres) of historic Caledonian forest from destruction by registering your objection with Perth and Kinross Council. Object online by visiting Perth and Kinross Council planning website then and search for planning application reference: 09/01273 and object by clicking on the ‘leave a comment’ tab.
Comments will be accepted until 31st August.
Development plans to build a vast housing and leisure complex threaten to flatten 160 hectares (400 acres) of historic Caledonian forest north west of Perth. A further 240 hectares (600 acres) of associated woodland is also threatened from the plan submitted on a part of the vast Dall Estate, which boasts unique eco systems and rare wildlife formed over hundreds and probably thousands of years.
The Woodland Trust Scotland has now added its objections to a growing list of dissenters listed with Perth and Kinross Council.
The South Rannoch woodland lies next to the Black Wood of Rannoch and is the most southerly remnant of Caledonian forest in Scotland. Formed at the end of the last Ice Age it is considered to be one of the last remaining wildernesses in the British Isles.
The potential loss of woodland – the size of Regent’s Park and bigger than Hyde Park in London (over 2 and half times the size of Glasgow’s Pollok Park) – is the biggest amount of threatened ancient woodland the Woodland Trust has ever encountered.
South Rannoch woodlands are home to a wide variety of wildlife, much of which is not found elsewhere in the British Isles. The ‘Red List’-protected capercaillie, the population of which has declined so rapidly that it is at very real risk of extinction, is found in the woodland, together with the equally rare black grouse which is one of the most rapidly declining bird species in the UK.
Other important dependent species include bats, red squirrels, wood ants and golden eagles.
“The Woodland Trust Scotland has submitted its objection to the plans. The proposals will effectively pour concrete over this habitat, destroying the valuable wildlife within and isolating the Black Wood of Rannoch even further”, says Andrew Fairbairn, Policy and Communications Manager Woodland Trust Scotland.
“It is disappointing that, in this day and age, with so much more awareness of the importance of protecting the natural environment that a developer can propose something so damaging and ludicrous that would result in thousands of years of evolution being lost forever.
“Ancient Woodland is an irreplaceable habitat and there has been no attempt to minimise the damage to it, it will just be razed to the ground if this goes ahead.”
He continues “We call on Perth and Kinross council to throw out this planning application, due to the totally unacceptable level of environmental vandalism it will cause, and to allow this fragment of the once great forest to remain.”
Areas of Caledonian Forest covered Scotland but now only small fragments remain. Ancient woodland is the richest habitat for species in the UK, the UK’s equivalent of the rainforest.
- 28 Aug, 2009
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