Welcome to the July 2017 edition
Peter Bickmore Dundas
We are very sad to report the death on 25 June of Peter Bickmore Dundas, a serving Member of APRS Council and until very recently the Executive Committee, from which he only stepped down at the AGM on 31 May. Peter had served APRS as Vice-Chairman for six years and on the Executive Committee for a further six; his knowledgeable advice and friendly approach will be greatly missed by all. Peter was a retired chartered surveyor who had worked with the Countryside Commission for Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage. Our Vice-President Charles Strang, Vice-Chairman John Thomson and Director John Mayhew represented APRS at his funeral along with many other APRS members. Our thoughts are with his widow Rosemary and the rest of his family.
Please join our Members’ Day tour of the proposed Borders National Park
This year’s Members’ Day on Saturday 23 September will feature a coach tour of the Borders, led by local experts, to see why APRS believes it should become a National Park. We are planning a really interesting day visiting the Cheviot foothills, Carter Bar viewpoint, the Teviot Valleys Special Landscape Area and Liddesdale, including a locally-sourced lunch at Born in the Borders near Jedburgh. We will meet at Tweedbank, which is the terminus of the new Borders Railway and has a large car park. Please book your place with Nina Sobecka on firstname.lastname@example.org. All APRS members, friends and family are welcome.
Sunday Herald publishes major article on Green Belts
On 30 April the Sunday Herald published a two-page spread headed “Should we build on green belts?” featuring quotes from APRS Green Belts Convenor Duncan Campbell, APRS member Ann Glen and APRS Director John Mayhew. You can read the article here.
Big step forward for APRS anti-litter campaign
At the end of June we achieved the most significant progress since the launch of our Have You Got The Bottle? anti-litter campaign two years ago. The Scottish Government announced that it has commissioned Zero Waste Scotland to investigate design options for a deposit return system (DRS) for drinks containers, for public consultation later this year. At the same time ZWS published a report summarising its analysis of recent evidence submitted on DRS, mostly positive from our point of view. APRS issued a press release warmly welcoming this important step forward.
Proposed fish farm at Lossit Point, Argyll
APRS has submitted an objection to a proposed fish farm near Machrihanish. This argues that the proposal is contrary to the Argyll & Bute Local Development Plan as the site on a designated Isolated Coast is not allocated for development, and suggests that a better site might be found on the nearby disused airbase.
Scottish Parliament debates more National Parks for Scotland
On 24 May Finlay Carson MSP led a 45-minute debate in the Scottish Parliament during which Conservative, Green and Labour speakers all called on the Scottish Government to establish more National Parks in Scotland. You can read our Parliamentary Briefing here, the full Official Report of the debate here and Holyrood Magazine’s light-hearted take here.
APRS AGM in North Lanarkshire
This year’s AGM took place on 31 May in Calderbank to highlight the threat to the attractive local Green Belt from a proposed development of 3,500 houses. Dr Ann Glen from APRS member Monkland Glen Community Council gave a fascinating presentation on the history and significance of the area and led a sunny walk through the beautiful designed landscape around the former mansion at Woodhall. Colin Prior, who attended the meeting and site visit, was re-elected as President for a second three-year term. Charles Millar was re-elected as Chairman, John Thomson took over as Vice-Chairman from Jane Bower and landscape architect Rebecca Hughes was elected to the Executive Committee.
Proposed wind farm at Knockendurrick, Galloway
APRS has objected to a proposed wind farm near Gatehouse of Fleet in Galloway. The letter argues that the proposal is contrary to the Dumfries & Galloway Local Development Plan, as it will adversely affect the landscape character of the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area and the Solway Coast Regional Scenic Area. It also points out that the proposed wind farm would be within our proposed Galloway National Park and that Scottish Planning Policy makes clear that wind farms are not acceptable in National Parks.
APRS submits evidence to Parliament on deposit return
The Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee is investigating the merits of a deposit return system (DRS) for drinks containers, as part of a wider study into waste management. APRS has submitted a substantial dossier of evidence to Parliament in support of DRS, based on all it has learned in two years of campaigning on this issue.