Welcome to the February 2019 edition

Fight for Scotland’s Nature
APRS has signed up to Scottish Environment LINK’s Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign, which calls for a Scottish Environment Act to ensure environmental protection after the UK leaves the EU. LINK’s Campaign Manager Miriam Ross will tell us all about the campaign at the meeting of our advisory Council on Thursday 14 March at 10.00 at Riddle’s Court, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. To sign the petition to the Scottish Government, please click here.  All APRS members, friends and family are most welcome to attend – please let us know you are coming at info@aprs.scot


All welcome at APRS AGM at Swanston, Edinburgh
This year’s AGM takes place on Thursday 30 May in the salubrious surroundings of Swanston Golf Club, Edinburgh, in the Pentland Hills Regional Park.  All APRS members, friends and family are most welcome to attend – please let us know you are coming at info@aprs.scot.  APRS Director John Mayhew will give a presentation about our campaign and project work over the last year, and there will be opportunities to ask questions and to meet other members.

STV News Green Belts item
In January STV News broadcast an item about the proposed ‘EuroPark’ Green Belt development in North Lanarkshire, including an extract from an interview with APRS Director John Mayhew explaining why protecting Green Belt land is so important. A longer version of the interview can be read on the STV website.

First Minister to consider Galloway National Park
In response to a Parliamentary Question last November First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said “I understand and appreciate the arguments for a Galloway National Park. We want to give full consideration to the proposal, and I am happy to ask the relevant minister to engage with the member and others who have an interest on how we can take the matter forward properly.” As a result of this APRS Director John Mayhew met Environment Minister Mairi Gougeon MSP in January, with the Galloway National Park Association and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks. The Minister was unable to commit the Scottish Government to taking the proposal forward, but did express a willingness to visit Galloway for further discussions.
Bring Back Your Empties video
In January we launched the sequel to our gull film – you can watch it here. It features a choir of Scottish animals pleading with Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham to introduce a deposit return system that includes all kinds of bottles and cans. It’s fun but a little dark, and aims to support her previous commitments to an ambitious system as the Scottish Government moves closer to announcing the final details.
A world class system means minimising waste and litter and maximising the number of empties returned, and that means that all drinks containers (not just plastic ones) should be included. We’re optimistic that this is what the Scottish Government will do, but we want to reassure it of the wide support from the public. So please share our wee animation far and wide, either using this link, or from our Twitter (@yougotthebottle) or Facebook (HaveYouGotTheBottleScotland) page.

International Experts Round Table at Holyrood
Last month we invited international deposit return experts to a meeting in Holyrood. The meeting was hosted by Angus MacDonald MSP, and we were joined by: Gintaras Varnas, Managing Director of Lithuania’s Deposit Return System; Saulius Galadauskas, Head of Lithuania’s Brewers’ Association and Chair of Lithuania’s Deposit Return System; Rauno Raal, Former Managing Director of Estonia’s Deposit Return System; and Rob Buurman, General Director of Recycling Netwerk, Netherlands.
The aim of the meeting was to share their perspective on the benefits of having an ambitious, inclusive deposit return system, and they made the case to a range of MSPs, retailers and other business owners in an extremely convincing way.

All welcome at APRS Members’ Day in Dirleton, East Lothian
The Dirleton Village Association has kindly agreed to host a visit for APRS Members on Saturday 21 September to their picturesque Conservation Area village in East Lothian. Local experts will lead a guided walk around Dirleton to set out the elements of its historic character and to visit the sites of recent development proposals. All APRS members, friends and family are most welcome to attend – please let us know you are coming at info@aprs.scot


Dr Adam Watson
We are sad to report the passing of Dr Adam Watson in January. Adam was a life member of APRS for 46 years. He was a highly-respected author, ecologist and mountaineer, and the leading expert on all aspects of the Cairngorm mountains.


Great British Spring Clean
APRS is calling on #LitterHeroes across the country to help improve the environment on their doorstep, by taking part in this year’s Great British Spring Clean campaign, organised by our friends at Keep Britain Tidy.  The campaign aims to inspire 500,000 people to join forces – in partnership with community organisations, businesses and the government – to collect and safely dispose of single-use plastic and litter from our streets, parks and beaches, recycling as much as possible.  To get involved simply visit the campaign website and sign up to do your bit!

Look out for our next Newsletter in April and Bulletin in July

Image copyright Ray

Join The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland

Join APRS and support Scotland’s rural landscapes. Members have access to specialist Advice, Newsletters and regular e-Bulletins.