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A Draft Framework for Biodiversity in Highland

What has happened in Highland so far?

In 1997 the Cairngorms Partnership commenced preparation of an LBAP for the area within their remit, which includes the majority of Badenoch and Strathspey. An audit of the biodiversity resource has now been published and production of a suite of habitat action plans (that will effectively form the LBAP) is nearing completion. A number of practical projects are also already underway. The Highland Council along with many of the other partners in the Highland Biodiversity Project actively supports the work in the Cairngorms.

In its approved Structure Plan (March 2001), The Highland Council made a commitment to lead the production of a suite of LBAPs to cover the rest of Highland by 2002. The Structure Plan states that this will be done as a partnership exercise which will involve local communities. It also states (Policy N4) that the Council will have regard to LBAPs in the consideration of development proposals.

In 1999 an informal “Biodiversity Partnership” was established of organisations and individuals across Highland who have an interest in promoting biodiversity. As a first step, an evaluation of the existing and potential uses of biodiversity was commissioned, funded by THC, HIE, SNH and RSPB. This report conducted by Bidwells highlights the broader socio-economic and cultural values of biodiversity.

A number of organisations are already involved in implementing plans for UK BAP habitats and species in Highland, including SNH, RSPB, FC and others. The work underway is just a small part of that required however.