Welcome to the August 2021 edition

Deposit Return – One Year to Go!
On 1 July, along with our friends from the Marine Conservation Society, we took 1,085 cans and bottles to the Scottish Parliament to mark the one-year countdown to the launch of Scotland’s deposit return system on 1 July 2022. That’s the amount of litter the system will eliminate every day, per MSP, once it comes into effect next year. We had to pause briefly unloading the van while The Queen was driven out of Holyrood Palace! The event was reported in the Courier, the Press & Journal and STV News.



A National Marine Park for Scotland?
In June the Blue Marine Foundation launched their report calling for a National Marine Park in Scotland, in association with APRS and SCNP. The Herald featured this as Plan to have Scotland’s coast and seas given Great Barrier Reef protections.

Manifesto Commitments
We successfully secured continued support for more National Parks from all four opposition parties in their manifestos for the May 2021 elections. Three parties also committed to stronger protection for Green Belts. You can read what they all said in our Manifesto Extracts document.


Winners of our Deposit Return School Poster Competition
Congratulations to P5B at St Mary’s RC Primary School in Edinburgh and their teacher Jackie Reville, who won the recent APRS deposit return poster competition. Children were asked to take photos of litter around their schools and to create a poster of their photos, together with thoughts and images form what they had learned about deposit return from our new educational resources. Each child in the winning class won a book to take home about helping Planet Earth. You can see lots of the entries on our Facebook page.

Unsustainable Development in Inverclyde’s Green Belt
We wrote to new Planning Minister Tom Arthur MSP on 27 May, urging him to call in a speculative Green Belt housing application in Kilmacolm, Inverclyde, which we argued would not be sustainable. We were therefore pleased to learn that on 5 July Ministers did call that application in “as they consider the case raises issues of national significance with regard to the interpretation and application of Scottish Planning Policy, and in view of Inverclyde Council’s interest in the proposed development, to allow further scrutiny of the reasons for proposing to approve it as a significant departure from the development plan.”

Delivering for the John Muir Award and RSPB Wild Challenge
We are delighted to have made links with the John Muir Award and RSPB’s Wild Challenge on our learning pages. This means that children can now use our educational resources, packed full of ideas and activities about helping nature and the environment, to deliver for their award and challenge goals. Thanks to Rebecca Logsdon from the John Muir Award and the Education Team at RSPB.


People’s Postcode Trust Grant
We are delighted to announce that APRS has recently been awarded a restricted grant of £20,000 by the People’s Postcode Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This will support our advocacy and community engagement work to promote Scotland’s rural landscapes, under PPT’s ‘Responding to the climate emergency and promoting sustainability’ theme. Many thanks to all players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.


AGM Thursday 20 May
We were pleased to welcome 19 APRS members to our AGM, which took place online for the second year running. Walter Simpson was re-elected as a Vice-President and Duncan Campbell and Catherine Gemmell were re-elected to the Executive Committee. Members approved proposals to transfer responsibility for determining membership classes and contributions from General Meetings to the Executive Committee. The Director reported healthy APRS finances, and topical issues raised by members included bank accounts, Local Place Plans, National Parks and spaceports.

St Andrews in Focus
Huge thanks to Flora Selwyn, editor of St Andrews in Focus magazine, for featuring an article by APRS Education Manager Jo McFarlane in the latest issue. The article covers our work on the new deposit return system coming to Scotland in July 2022 and our other current projects. If you would like to feature APRS and our work in any magazines or newsletters, please do contact us at info@aprs.scot.

Karol Swanson
We are very sad to report that APRS Council Member Karol Swanson passed away in May. Originally from New York City, Karol was also a member of our Executive Committee from 2014 to 2020 and a highly experienced and reliable APRS planning volunteer, who gave much valuable and balanced advice over the years to many APRS members and other local residents across rural Scotland. She will be greatly missed. If you’d like a brief flavour of some of the issues she cared about, do read the thoughtful article she wrote in our May 2020 newsletter.



Catherine Gemmell-Simpson
We are delighted to congratulate APRS Trustee Catherine Gemmell on her recent marriage to John Simpson.







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