New local nature reserve a first for Cowal

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Published Date: 

9 Apr 2014 - 16:55

COWAL now has its first designated local nature reserve at Broxwood, on the shores of the Holy Loch, following Argyll and Bute Council’s meeting on Thursday 20 March.

The newly declared Holy Loch Nature Reserve, on land and the foreshore near Broxwood, will be Cowal’s first, Argyll and Bute’s second and Scotland’s 69th nature reserve.

Councillors unanimously agreed the proposal, submitted on behalf of Sandbank Community Development Trust (SCDT), to designate the area as a Local Nature Reserve.  The trust, along with other community groups, is keen to improve the area and develop it as an enhanced amenity for the local and wider community, while protecting the habitat for the shore nesting bird and wading bird populations.  A bird hide with access footpath was installed by SCDT a number of years ago and has proved to be a popular amenity which is in regular use.

Further improvements are listed within a draft Management Plan for the Holy Loch Nature Reserve and include planting native species and upgrading the woodland access.  There are also plans to install bird and bat boxes to enhance the educational and visitor experience at the site, as well as increasing visitor numbers. 

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Tourism and the Environment, Councillor Vivien Dance, said: “I’m delighted that Cowal has its first designated nature reserve.  The local community groups who have been working so hard on this are to be congratulated for their hard work and commitment. We are lucky to have many places of outstanding natural beauty across the whole of Argyll and Bute and I am sure that visitors to the new Holy Loch Nature Reserve will be delighted at what they find.”

SCDT director, Graeme Murray, who will chair the new Holy Loch Nature Reserve Management Committee, added: “We are delighted that this declaration has been finalised and we can now get on with the job of developing the nature reserve. 

“We are very grateful to Nigel Scriven of Argyll Bird Group and Cowal Natural History Society, who had the original idea for the nature reserve, and also to Argyll and Bute Council, John Forth of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Liz Pryor and Hazel White of Scottish Natural Heritage and Councillor Bruce Marshall who have all enthusiastically championed the project to this stage. 

“We look forward to their continued support and that of the community with this exciting new venture, which is one of the priorities in Sandbank’s Community Development Plan.”

 Notes for editors:

Argyll and Bute’s first Local Nature Reserve was Duchess Woods in Helensburgh, designated in 2010.

The Holy Loch Nature Reserve is Cowal’s first and Argyll and Bute’s second – and is the 69th local nature reserve in Scotland.