Monday, July 06, 2009

The bonnie, bonnie broom part II

The Gurn reported back in June on the mysterious clearing of broom from the dunes next to the bankie. Today a Gurn reader sent us a reply from Highland Council Countryside Rangers with regard this work that caused so much upset and speculation.

The Highland Council Countryside Rangers organised a conservation task at Nairn West Beach on Saturday 20th June. A press release, which was issued at the time, did not make the local press, however, the purpose of the task was to address the following:
The dunes at Nairn Beach are slowly being invaded by broom, gorse and sycamore, which if left unchecked will eventually take over the dunes. These invasive shrubs and small trees will gradually shade out the natural dune loving plants which grow here and have a knock on effect on other wildlife such as some of our rarer butterflies. The plan is to remove small areas of shrubs every few years to keep this in check. This is exactly the same kind of work the RSPB have been carrying out on the dune systems around the Minster’s pool area at Kingsteps over the last few years. Prior to any work being carried out the volunteers were asked to check very carefully for any signs of birds nesting in the shrubs, it was also considered that hand cutting would be a better option than using chainsaws to reduce disturbance to wildlife and the public.
There was no sign of nesting birds and very unlikely that skylarks would be nesting at that location

The Gurn also reported that the much more invasive Japanese Knotweed has been left to thrive.
Perhaps some priorities need to be set with regard to what plants need to be removed and the work carried out at a time of year when there are fewer chances of disturbances to wildlife?


Winston said...

"We shall fight them on the Beaches."

After looking at that photograph,I would say the fighting has started.
What a mess!.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gurn for the update. If that is a recent photo the area now looks a complete mess.
Whilst the reasons behind the clearance seem positive I would agree that the timing is very questionable in terms of birds nesting etc.
I'm not sure if the reply regarding the skylarks was for that specific area, but I have often observed them landing in the dunes presumably as they are nesting there.
A printed press release would have been good but I would still question as to what plants anyone should be removing.

Nairn said...

I can confirm that the photo was taken today