Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) are asking the public to be mindful when visiting forests across Scotland in order to try and halt biodiversity loss. FLS are responsible for a number of site in Highland Perthshire including Faskally Forest, Drummond Hill and Craigvinean.
FLS are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to Scotland’s 300 protected forests and land this summer but have asked visitors to remember that the forests aren’t there just for them. While forests are a great place to visit during the holidays, having such a large number of visitors increases the risk of accidental harm coming to the plants and animals that call the forests home.
FLS Environment Manager, Colin Edwards, said: “As the largest provider of outdoor recreation in Scotland, we annually welcome millions of visits from people looking to enjoy some of the best locations in the country.
“However, the land that we manage is also home to many thousands of species, some of which are rare or threatened with extinction.
“These can range from plants such as Twinflower, butterflies such as the pearl bordered fritillary, animals such as red squirrels and many species of ground nesting birds, such as Capercaillie.
“Clearly not all of these species are found everywhere, and we don’t expect that everyone should know in detail where particular species are found.
“That’s why we’re simply asking everyone to be aware that the forests and land are there not just for our benefit and to behave appropriately and cause minimal disturbance, especially in spring and early summer when there are many young animals and birds in the forest.
“With SOAC, people can take responsible access whether there is a formal trail or not but off-trail activities are more of a problem for wildlife. By staying on formal trails visitors can be assured that their access is responsible.”
Visitors to the protected forests and land this summer are being asked to follow some simple guidelines when walking through areas where protected or endangered species are known to live such as keep their dogs on the leash and sticking to the footpaths.
Visitors are also being asked to pick up their litter and use portable cooking stoves instead of making campfires.