Scotland's Environment

Natural and Cultural

Roger sets action for outdoors activity and greenspace in Scotland - Please click "The Geographer" talk and editorial - November 2015

Crofts calls on medics to deliver action plan and healthy outdoors activity - October 2015

Crofts criticises the south east Scotland plan for failing the environment

Giving a wide-ranging overview of Scotland’s nature, Roger Crofts calls for changes in the mindsets and actions of all stakeholders, and a more integrated and connected approach to secure the future

RSE calls for greater clarity on the need for land reform - August 2015

Join Roger Crofts to debate the future of our land - 27 October 2015

Crofts and Gordon argue the vital need to retain the NNR status for Glen Roy - August 2015

The future of Protected Areas in Scotland: Roger Crofts’ messages from the World Parks Congress and summary of Edinburgh conference outcomes

Scottish Land Reform Consultation - Roger Crofts calls for a formal duty of land stewardship as ownership is a secondary issue

Scotland’s biodiversity: finding a way forward - Roger Crofts spells out way forward on Scotland’s biodiversity - Published in BRISC News 96

Scotland’s biodiversity: finding a way forward - To be published in Biological Recording Scotland newsletter - 2014

New Lanark World Heritage Site - Letter to The Scotsman - 3 October 2013

Call for Biodiversity Offsetting Scheme for Wind Farms Impact on the Scottish Highlands - Sept 2012

Sibthorp Trust - Resolving Conflicts in Resources Management - Paper, 2012

Do you know Scotland's earth history?

Objection to proposed development at Dall Estate Rannoch

Sustaining Scotland's Environment

Following on from the summary of the Conference by Tricia Henton, Chief Executive of SEPA, I provide below an overview of the major issues which were raised during the Conference proceedings, I give my own interpretation of the challenges which are faced and suggest directions for the future.

Rural Scotland and its Environment

Article published in Institute for Contemporary Scotland States of Scotland 2004 challenging the claimed synonymity between rural Scotland and Scotland’s natural environment, pointing out the multiplicity of legitimate interests and using the debates on national parks, public access and the right to buy land, nature and community conflicts, on agriculture, and on fishing, forestry and tourism as examples.

The Trump Resort Development - Forgetting the Environment

Article published in BRISC Recorder News January 2009 challenging the Scottish Government decision on the Trump development at Menie Links Aberdeenshire because it ignores current strategic plans, ignores protected area status, ignores, natural dynamism of the environment, and ignores the effect of inducing international travellers to visit in contradistinction to the government’s climate change emission reduction proposals.

What Sort Of World Do We Want? (Revised November 2010)

Article written following attendance at the IUCN World Conservation Conference Barcelona September 2008 challenging the Scottish public to consider what sort of world we want in Scotland and for the rest of the globe. Seeks to argue an optimistic note despite the many negative environmental trends.

Land, Sea and Nature from Martin to the Present - Bullet Point Speech

Talk given on National Trust for Scotland cruise 2007 relating the observations of Martin Martin to the changes that have occurred since the eighteenth century.

People and Scotland's Environment - Powerpoint Presentation

Perspective on the need for action in Scotland following the global agreement at the World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002 identifying the need for a revised national strategy, refocussing of the economic sectors, recognition of the educational and health benefits of the environment, and arguing the case for improving Scotland’s special places.

Crichton Campus Conservations - Scotland's Environment - What Future?

Presentation given at Crichton campus Dumfries in 2003. Current state of environment reviewed with positive and negative trends. Six point agenda set out: working with dynamic and adaptive nature, changing from blinkered sectoral approach, realising environmental opportunities, making better decisions, making people part of the environment, and reducing environmental impacts.

Nature, Landscape and People Since the Second World War - A Celebration of the 1949 Act

Chapter in book written in 1999 reviewing progress over the half century since the enactment of the National parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Despite very significant advances in nature and landscape conservation over the past fifty years, environmental organisations must rise to the challenge of sustainable development by demonstrating the importance of the environment for human well-being in a more integrated manner and using more inclusive processes.

Management and Business Plan for Murton Environment Centre

Report produced for the Murton Wildlife Trust for Environmental Education 2003 for the development of environmental education facilities in disused gravel quarry near to Forfar, Angus.

National Trust Scotland Conservation Challenges and Opportunuties

Short paper written in late 2007 to stimulate a debate in the NTS on conservation challenges and opportunities.

National Trust Scotland - Strategic Acquisitions Policy - First Thoughts

Note written in 2005 to provoke action on the development of a strategic approach to property acquisition and disposal.

Mountains - From Divides to Integration - A Scottish Perspective

Unpublished paper written in 2002 giving my personal Scottish perspective on mountains and how modern capacity building and community engagement techniques can bring about more integrated approaches to management of mountain areas and their dependent communities.

A 2020 Vision for Tourism and the Environment

Talk given to conference on the future of tourism in Scotland Nairn 1998. It sets out a personal vision for tourism and the environment in Scotland in 2020 and sets out some ideas on how to achieve.

Making Cycling and the Natural Heritage Compatible and Environmentally Sustainable

Talk given at conference on cycling in Scotland in 1999 making the case that cycling and the natural heritage are both compatible and environmentally sustainable, by avoiding or resolving conflicts and ensuring that cycling has a minimal environmental footprint.

Scottish Planning, Local Goverment and Environment Bar - Bullet Point Speech

Public or Private Partnerships for Land - A Natural Heritage Perspective - Bullet Point Speech

Speech given in 2001 setting out the justification for public/private partnerships reviewing the credibility and effectiveness of the mechanisms available, outlining the Land Reform agenda as a platform for change, and setting out a balanced package approach, as exemplified for wildlife.

What is Biodiversity

Talk in 2000 setting out what does biodiversity mean and how it helps to achieve sustainable development. What action should we take in addition to what is being done already, and what might it mean in practice by taking the example of a river basin.

Geography

Geography and the Baccalaureate

I applaud the approach to improving academic standards set out in the Scottish Government’s proposals. But I am both surprised and disappointed to note that there is no mention of Geography. I presume that this is an oversight and that you and your officials will reconsider the position and place geography in its rightful place as one of the baccalaureate subjects.

Geology and Landforms

Do You Know Scotland's History?

Great variety of rocks and landforms: Sansoms Ribs, Black Cuillin, Fannichs corrie, Milarachy shore erosion, coire Lagan screes, Cairngorn pothole, Glencoe from A Eagach, Loch Tay from Lawers, Knockan upside down rocks, Dumbarton to Lomond.

Hills and Islands

The Royal Society of Edinburgh on A Land Use Strategy For Scotland - A response to the Scottish Government draft Dec 2010

The Royal Society of Edinburgh on Land Use Strategy - Press Release Dec 2010

Stewarding the Land - From Shambles to Solutions - Bullet Point Speech

The Future of Scotland's Hills and Islands - Report 09/2008

The Future of Scotland's Hills and Islands - Summary Report 09/2008

Reports

Management and Business Plan for Murton Environment Centre

There is strong interest in the formal education market for facilities which demonstrate environmentally friendly use and re-use of natural resources. Indoor and outdoor demonstrations allowing a ‘hands-on’ approach by students are necessary. Ossifying the site with no opportunities for change and development would be counterproductive to this market. The site offers opportunities for demonstration of issues relevant to the curriculum at 5-14, Standard and Higher Grades and also for the Environmental Citizenship curriculum. Provided that the facilities are different from others within the local catchment area then the catchment should extend throughout Angus and into Dundee and Perth & Kinross in the early stages. At the outset it is estimated that around 50 school groups a year may use the facilities.

Speeches and Articles

Call for Biodiversity Offsetting Scheme for Wind Farms Impact on the Scottish Highlands - Sept 2012

Can Environment Science Support Policy? - Bullet Point Speech

Nature, Landscape and People Since the Second World War - A Celebration of the 1949 Act

In this paper I argue that, despite very significant advances in nature and landscape conservation over the past fifty years, environmental organisations must rise to the challenge of sustainable development by demonstrating the importance of the environment for human well-being in a more integrated manner and using more inclusive processes.

Crichton Campus Conservations - Scotland's Environment - What Future?

Range plus and minus changes cna be turned round through variety of actions in Scotland, the UK and Eurpoe

Is There A Future For The Galloway Uplands? - Bullet Point Speech

Land, Sea and Nature from Martin to the Present - Bullet Point Speech

People and Scotland's Environment - Powerpoint Presentation

Royal Society of Edinburgh - The Future of Scotland's Hills and Islands - Powerpoint Presentation

Safeguarding Our Natural Assests

Safeguarding our natural assets is by far the most significant area of our work. It Is the one that takes up most staff time. It is the one that takes most of our programme resources. It is the one that is the most strongly underpinned by our range of statutory duties. It is the one on which we work as the agents of Government to ensure that it achieves its obligations under International Conventions and European Directives.

The Sea and Coast - Bullet Point Speech

Rural Scotland and its Environment

Rural Scotland and Scotland’s natural environment are usually taken to be synonymous. The Minister for Environment is also responsible for rural development and the key rural economic sectors. Even the new committee structure of the Scottish Parliament seeks to perpetuate this view with the establishment of an Environment and Rural Development Committee. This perspective is erroneous. Examining who pays for, uses, looks after, and needs rural areas gives broader perspective. There is a multiplicity of legitimate interests: we all have a stake in the environment and most of us have some dependency on ‘rural Scotland’. The debates and actions during 2003 and 2004 clearly back up this point; for example, on national parks, public access and the right to buy land, nature and community conflicts, on agriculture, and on fishing, forestry and tourism. These six topics are elaborated as they affect citizens in rural and urban Scotland.

The Trump Resort Development - Forgetting the Environment

An application for outline planning permission for a golf resort might seem innocuous. But one comprising two 18-hole courses, a clubhouse and ancillary facilities, a 450-room hotel with conference centre and spa, 950 holiday apartments in 4 blocks, 36 ‘golf villas’, 500 houses for sale, accommodation for 400 staff, road access and parking intruding into an SSSI is a major scheme on any count. It is claimed to create 4,694 net full-time equivalent jobs at the Scottish level in the construction phase and 1,237 net full time equivalent permanent jobs at the Scotland level and to be of national, regional and local economic significance. The recommendation of the three Inquiry Reporters of the Scottish Government Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals is clear. The economic benefits, seen in the context of the Scottish Government’s overriding priority to achieve sustainable economic development, justify setting aside the planning policies for the area, the protected status of part of the area, and ignore the wider environmental implications of the project over its life time.

What Sort Of World Do We Want?

Many trends are in the wrong direction. Species becoming extinct at ever faster rates. Water is in short supply to serve basic human needs. Deforestation continues for short term gain. The environment on which we all depend has been damaged and degraded. And there is no global solution to the mismatch between energy demand and energy supply. In short, there are multiple crises in the natural world, now made all the worse by the crisis in the economic world which affects everyone. This was very stark for those in the developing world where poverty is a life long experience and the chances of sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles are remote. Nevertheless, Those of us attending the Congress could be forgiven for thinking that there was no cause whatsoever for optimism.

 

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