The Scottish Wildlife Trust will be the subject of a parliamentary debate today (Tuesday 27 May) at Holyrood to mark its 50th Anniversary year.
On the Trust’s official birthday (Wednesday 16 April), a parliamentary motion was raised by the MSP for Central Scotland, John Wilson, in congratulations of protecting Scotland’s wildlife for the past 50 years. Having gained cross-party support, the motion has now led to a debate on the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s 50th Anniversary.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust was constituted in 1964 under the leadership of Sir Charles Connell, and over the past 50 years the Trust has grown to become the largest voluntary body working for all the wildlife of Scotland.
MSP for Central Scotland, John Wilson, said: “I welcome the opportunity to highlight the 50 years of excellent work by the Scottish Wildlife Trust to not only promote but also to actually deliver environmental management for some of Scotland’s iconic areas of wildlife and interest.”
Chief Executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Jonny Hughes, said: “It is an honour that the work of the Scottish Wildlife Trust is being recognised by MSPs in this way.
“The Trust has some fantastic sites across the length and breadth of Scotland – from the tiny Johnston Terrace Gardens in the heart of Edinburgh to the 6,000 hectare Ben Mor Coigach reserve in the north west – that are vital habitat for a wide range of species such as the Scottish wildcat, osprey, common seal, pearl-bordered fritillary, lesser butterfly orchid and the great yellow bumblebee.
“Tens of thousands of people come to our three Visitor Centres at Montrose Basin, Loch of the Lowes and Falls of Clyde each year to experience and get close to the beautiful wildlife that Scotland has to offer.
“However, the work of the Trust over the past 50 years has been so much more than land management. The Trust has influenced key policy decisions, such as improving the protection of Scotland’s seas. It has also been at the vanguard of nature conservation in Scotland, and has shown leadership by launching the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital and pushing for a National Ecological Network.
“There will be many challenges facing Scotland’s wildlife over the next 50 years, and the Trust will face the challenge in the way that we have always done – by harnessing the power of our members to ensure Scotland’s wildlife is protected and restored both now and in the future.”