Caledonian Wildlands will fully participate and be proactive within local Management Committees and implement any agreed aftercare requirements that come as part of future management of the site. We have many years’ experience in managing open habitats for biodiversity and birds and welcome the opportunity to play a part in the aftercare program. In addition, we also have a great deal of experience in liaising with stakeholders such as NatureScot, RSPB, SEPA, local authorities and landowners and welcome the opportunity to work with such organisations and individuals.
Native Woodland and Open Habitats
We recognise the extensive restoration work that has been achieved to date on a variety of former opencast sites by the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust (SMRT) and the work establishing areas of native woodland and will be able to utilise our extensive experience in woodland management in caring for and maintaining these areas.
Where applicable, we would propose areas of new woodland to complement any existing planting or established woodland and to create habitat network corridors linking each of these woodlands together. We will take cognisance of all designated areas such as SPAs or SACs and specifically tailor the site management to accommodate and support these special areas.
We will ensure peatland and open habitats retain their integrity and will work with all stakeholders to ensure this remains in place into the future.
It is vital to allow good access across each of the sites to allow all members of the public the opportunity to enjoy these open spaces. The connectivity of Powharnal/ Gasswater/ Dalfad to Muirkirk in the north and potentially through Duncanziemere and on to Cumnock in the south presents a very good opportunity for public access and long-distance walking and potential cycling/mountain bike routes. We will seek to promote this opportunity and to work with East Ayrshire Council and the adjoining landowner of Duncanziemere, to find solutions to facilitate this route. We will engage with businesses such as Cycle Station a local not for profit organisation, and others within the Southwest Scotland Biosphere network to explore opportunities for local business development.
One of our key areas of interest is to create opportunities for local employment and enterprise through the delivery of the proposals. Through careful and considerate planning of woodland and environmental works, partnering with stakeholders that are aligned with our aims and the use of local contractors and not for profit organisations, significant opportunities can be generated from the site. These opportunities will look like the following:
- Woodland planting
- Fence maintenance
- Woodland maintenance (weeding, beating up, pruning)
- Peatland drain blocking
- Public leisure provision (cycle hire)
- Wildlife control in relation to maintaining the integrity of the SPA and woodland areas
- Roads and path maintenance