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Local contact in Fife and Kinross for the Wildlife Sites Team is:

Deborah Cottam

Helping Protect
Fife's Wildlife Sites

What are Wildlife Sites?

Wildlife Sites are specific areas of land, of any size, that have significant local conservation importance. They are non-statutory and so, unlike Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), have no direct legal protection.

The Wildlife Sites system is used widely by many local authorities and is promoted by all of the 47 Wildlife Trusts throughout Britain as a means of protecting local biodiversity.

What is happening in Scotland?

Initially the Scottish Wildlife Trust set up a specially funded Scottish Wildlife Action Programme (SWAP) to advance the Wildlife Sites system throughout the country. Up till now SWAP has been able to offer expert management advice to owners of Wildlife Sites, through a team of Wildlife Advisors.

In summary, the Wildlife Sites programme works in four ways:

Active survey: To survey new Wildlife Sites through the employment of contract surveyors, creating a vast network of recognised Wildlife Sites.

Countryside management: Practical management and monitoring work on Wildlife Sites will be encouraged, by the SWT working with their owners.

Working Partnerships: With statutory and non-statutory bodies to ensure recognition of the value of Wildlife Sites, and to maximise information exchange, particularly to assist in biodiversity planning and implementation.

Involving Local People: Through the development and training of the voluntary Wildlife Site Teams from among Scottish Wildlife Trust members, to create a sustainable future for the monitoring and protection of Wildlife Sites.

Why are volunteers needed?

The Wildlife Site Teams covering Scotland are vital to run the Wildlife Sites system at the local level.

Our aim is to give the Teams the training and confidence they need to complement their enthusiasm to do the work needed. The Teams provide invaluable help by calling on their local knowledge to judge whether all surveyed sites in their area make the Wildlife Site grade.

Additionally, the Teams help by looking after all information on local sites, making it readily available for local use. By liaising with Fife Council's Planning Department and Fife Nature with this information, the Teams play an important role in protecting sites against adverse development.

To see where Wildlife Sites have already been identified in Fife have a look at the MAP originally published by FERN. (Now reverted to Fife Nature)