Conservation in the Highlands
Written by: Hamish
As one of the last largely untouched areas in Britain and Europe, the Highlands make the perfect destination for anyone passionate about wildlife, nature and the environment in general. As such, it’s important that this beautiful region is properly cared for, to maintain it and allow people to enjoy it for years to come. Conservation in the Scottish Highlands helps to prevent iconic animals and habitats from being destroyed, as well as preserving local sites and culture, and any visitors should be aware of just how important this region is.
Why are the Highlands so special?
The Scottish Highlands is rich in biodiversity, thanks to its remote location and range of habitats that allow plant and animal species to thrive. The region also has a rich cultural legacy, which can be seen in the many historical sites of interest to be found here. Scotland shares the same problems as many areas around the world – habitats are being lost and humans are the reason for this. From building over natural areas, to unsustainable fishing methods, much of the flora and fauna of this region is suffering and being forced into ever smaller areas. If this breathtaking and varied region is to recover, it needs your help.
Types of Conservation in the Highlands
There are many actions being taken in the Scottish Highlands, which all come under the umbrella term of Conservation. Here are some of the main types of conservation being undertaken:
- Architectural/Cultural Conservation– Scotland has a long and diverse history, and many buildings that tell this story still survive. If these important landmarks aren’t funded and cared for, then some of these stories could be forgotten.
- Animal Conservation– from impressive birds such as Ospreys and Golden Eagles, to once-common animals like the Red Squirrel and the Wildcat, much is being done to protect habitats, and try to maintain or grow populations of these creatures.
- Habitat Conservation– closely linked to animal conservation, maintaining a natural environment conducive to plants and animals thriving is very important. There are many unique habitats in the Scottish Highlands, from Caledonian pine forests to Peat bogs.
What are we doing to help?
There is a large amount of conservation work being undertaken in the Scottish Highlands, much of which is carried out by passionate volunteers who love and appreciate the area. We have several long-term projects in place to address the issues, from constant campaigning to protection of species and planting of native trees. It is our dream to see species such as lynx, wolves, bears and wild boar return to the Highlands. We believe that we have a moral duty to do so. Numerous scientists and other experts also strive to find causes and solutions for biological and environmental issues that have an impact on nature. If you want to be part of these conservation efforts there are many places you can volunteer.
Everyone Can Make a Difference
Whether you’re thinking of volunteering and going on a holiday with a difference, or you just want to know how to limit your environmental impact while travelling around this beautiful, untouched area, it’s important that everyone does their bit to help. Even the small things, such as picking up all litter while hiking, can help sustain this environment and leave it in the same state for future generations. If the importance of conservation is ignored, then some of Scotland’s most iconic animals and plants could soon die out, and its oldest architecture could be left to the elements. With a bit of effort, though, the Highlands can continue to delight residents and tourists alike.
Of course, if you want to assist our projects, you can buy a souvenir plot of land and join the Lords and Ladies of Glencoe!