A new project to help boost golden eagles in the south of Scotland is seeking your views on the scheme.
The initiative – known as the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project – has been pledged more than £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and has the backing of the Scottish Government.
It aims to boost numbers of the iconic bird in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. Right now, there are only two to four pairs, with limited nesting success. It is believed there is habitat for up to 16 pairs.
The project’s organisers are now keen to hear local opinions on the initiative – which could see eagle chicks raised and released in the Moffat Hills and various locations in the Scottish Borders.
They have already launched an online survey to gather as many views as possible, and are hosting public meetings and drop-ins in Peebles, Moffat and Selkirk later this month.
“We’d like to hear from as many people as possible,” says Cat Barlow, Project Manager at the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project.
“We think this project is incredibly exciting. A revived population of golden eagles offers great opportunities for tourism and wider benefits for people and nature in the south of Scotland. Presentations at the public events will explain what is proposed and look at the successes of similar schemes elsewhere in the country.
“We will be inviting organisations, community groups and schools to the events – and we would like to hear everyone’s views, for or against. All information gathered will be used to develop the next phase of the funding process,” Cat says.
The events are being coordinated by the Southern Uplands Partnership which specialises in developing and implementing community and environmental projects across the south of Scotland. Their project manager Pip Tabor says:
“There will be a number of speakers and presentations at the evening events, whilst the drop-ins are for those who are unable to attend the main meetings. We plan to have a range of information to hand out.
“We really would encourage anyone with an interest to come along,” Pip concludes.
Venues for public meetings are as follows:
26 September Burgh Hall, Peebles
27 September Victoria Hall, Selkirk
29 September Town Hall, Moffat
Drop ins from 15:00 - 18:00
Main meetings 19:00 -21:00
Details of the public consultation are also available on the project’s web site www.goldeneaglessouthofscotland.co.uk
The online survey can be accessed here.