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Woodland visit marks decade of badger work

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By Fiona Reid
Woodland visit marks decade of badger work

TO celebrate ten years of Scottish Environment Link’s Nature Champions initiative, Colin Smyth MSP recently met with members of Scottish Badgers at RSPB Wood of Cree Nature Reserve near Newton Stewart.

The South Scotland politician has been the Scottish Environment LINK Nature Champion for badgers in the Scottish Parliament for the past seven years.

The initiative was developed a decade ago to encourage MSPs to champion endangered or iconic species and priority habitats, raising awareness and promoting action to restore and safeguard Scotland’s environment.

Since 2013, the Nature Champions initiative has partnered cross-party politicians with threatened and iconic Scottish species and habitats.

Colin Smyth said: “It is always great to meet staff and local volunteers from Scottish Badgers, and catch up with the great work they are doing.

“Scottish Badgers and their volunteers work tirelessly across the country, monitoring badger levels and looking at ways of ensuring badgers can live in harmony with the rest of the countryside without facing threats from appalling practises such as badger baiting, the destruction of setts and an increasing level of road kills.

“It is fantastic that as part of my role as Nature Champion, I am able to get out and meet with groups like this who are doing amazing conservation work and raising awareness of issues facing our native creatures like the badger. People can have strong views on badgers, not always positive, but my role is to work with groups to make sure that the approach taken to any species is based on evidence not myths.

“We all need to become nature champions if we’re to ensure that some of the amazing creatures and places that we love are still around for our children and grandchildren.”

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