January 2015 - Scottish Natural Heritage

Follow Scottish Natural
Heritage on social media
using these links
Enjoy the best of Scotland’s Natural Larder in
Year of Food and Drink 2015
The Scottish Government’s tasty theme for 2015 is food and drink.
The year is an opportunity to celebrate and promote the best of
Scotland’s quality produce to our visitors from around the world.
It’s also a good time to remind ourselves of the excellent local food
and drink that we have available to us here in Scotland and we’ll be
supporting the year through our Scotland’s Natural Larder work.
Scotland’s Natural Larder aims to reconnect people with local
and natural produce, and the seasonal use of our natural foods.
Throughout the year we will continue to raise awareness of what is
available locally and seasonally, helping others to make the best of this
read more >>>
Your walking experiences
Family strollers, Munro-baggers, dog walkers and
hardy hikers – if you’ve got something to say
about walking, Ramblers Scotland want to hear it.
Complete their online survey by 31 January and
you could win some walking prizes!
read more >>>
Snap an urban deer and
win a prize!
​Have you seen a deer visiting your garden recently?
Perhaps you see them occasionally from an office
window or while out for a stroll in your local park.
The next time you spot a deer in an urban setting,
whip out your phone (or even a camera if you’ve got
one to hand) and you could win a great prize, such
as a day’s photography tuition or a day counting deer
from a helicopter!
read more >>>
Greenspace makers rewarded
​Quality accessible greenspaces on our doorstep are vital
for our physical and mental well-being, and are great places
for learning and local biodiversity. So we were delighted
to see Portlethen Moss Conservation Group recognised
at the recent Nature of Scotland Awards for its design and
creation of a community native woodland in partnership with
Aberdeenshire Council.
read more >>>
Scotland’s outdoor leisure habits revealed
If you’ve ever wondered where people in Scotland go for outdoor recreation and what they do when they get there, you’re
in luck! A report published in December shows that 82% of us have used the natural environment for leisure in the past 12
months – up from 79% the previous year and the highest annual figure since 2006.
Health, exercise and walking the dog are the main reasons given for spending time outside. A quarter of outdoors visits were
taken to relax and unwind or to enjoy fresh air and good weather. Walking is still the most popular activity, followed by family
outings. Among other findings, the report shows that 94% of us believe that Scotland’s wild land areas should be protected.
read more >>>
Call for restraint on hare culls
We’ve teamed up with Scottish Land & Estates and the
Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust to call for voluntary
restraint on large-scale culls of mountain hares. Along with
other measures, it’s hoped the move will help ensure that
future management of mountain hares is sustainable.
Scotland has millions of rabbits and two species of hare,
but only the mountain hare is native. It’s thought rabbits
were introduced to Scotland by the Normans, while the
brown hare was first brought to our shores by the Romans.
read more >>>
Scotland’s Nature blog
​Our Scotland’s Nature blog looks at work to promote and protect
our natural heritage. Recent highlights for you to enjoy include:
A Scots language look at the redwing: brush up on your Scots and
discover the ‘windthrush’.
Trees for Life: charity’s founder reviews first 25 years’
Nature’s soothing way: a look at how we can all benefit from urban
read more >>>
Nothing dirty about healthy soils
Healthy soils are as important for sustaining life as the air we
breathe and the water we drink. Without them we would starve,
but they also play a number of other crucial roles, such as helping
to tackle climate change.
International Year of Soils 2015 aims to make us all aware of the
profound importance of soils and what we need to do to maintain
read more >>>
‘Gèadh’ an Uisge
Tha co-dhiù ochd ainmean Gàidhlig air an Learga Dheirg agus ’s dòcha gur e am fear as inntinniche ‘bior-ghèadh’. Tha
bior na sheann fhacal airson uisge agus ’s e as coireach ris an ainm gum biodh daoine a’ creidsinn gum b’ urrainn an
aimsir ro-innse le bhith a’ coimhead air fèin-ghiùlain an eòin seo. Nuair a bhios e a’ seinn, thathar ag ràdh gu bheil
e ‘ag èigheachd air an uisge’ agus nach fhada gum bi droch shìde ann. Chruinnich Alasdair MacIlleMhìcheil rannan
anns na h-Eileanan A-muigh anns am bi an learga dhearg ag èigheachd ‘Bior, bior, bior!’ Agus ann an Sealtainn, far
am bithear a’ gabhail ‘rain goose’ air, bhiodh na h-iasgairean a’ dèanamh dheth gun tigeadh fìor dhroch shìde nam
falbhadh an learga dhearg gu muir.
One of the many Gaelic names for the red-throated diver is ‘bior-ghèadh’, or ‘rain goose’, employing bior, an archaic word for
water; it is also known as a ‘rain goose’ dialectally in Scots. When the bird sings, it is said to be ‘calling in the rain’ and that
bad weather is on the way. Alexander Carmichael (of Carmina Gadelica fame) is among those who collected folklore about this
species. In Shetland, the fishermen would say that the red-throated diver’s departure from its freshwater home to the sea would
be a warning not to set sail for a day’s fishing.
– SEABIRD CITY FILM: Stephen Parker’s excellent short film tells the story of seabirds that return each year to breed on Noss NNR in Shetland.
read more >>>
– ANCIENT MARINE SPECIES DISCOVERED: A species of marine reptile that lived 170 million years ago has been identified from fossils found on Skye.
read more >>>
– WARM WEATHER RECORD: The Met Office has revealed that 2014 was Scotland’s warmest year since records began. This example of climate change could affect several species, such as the Arctic charr, which may be lost from some locations.
read more >>>
– PROTECTED AREAS CONFERENCE: Edinburgh hosts an international conference on Protected Areas in February. Themes at the one-day event will include management of protected areas, planning for the future and an independent review of protected areas in Scotland.
read more >>>
Follow Scottish Natural Heritage on social media using the links above
Scottish Natural Heritage is the government’s adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to
help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland’s nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at
www.snh.gov.uk. SNH media is also now on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SNH_Tweets
Contact us by email at [email protected]
Communications Unit
Scottish Natural Heritage
Published: January 2015
Image Credits
All images copyright Lorne Gill/SNH, except: Scottish wildcat, © www.toothandclaw.org.uk; chough,
© http://highlandwildlifephotography.com; flame shells, © Marine Scotland; Solway from the sky, © Colin Tennant.
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