New nature reserves announced in Edinburgh to protect sites from development

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WESTER Craiglockhart Hill and Little France Park in Edinburgh are to become nature reserves in a bid to offer protection from future development on the sites.

The City of Edinburgh Council announced that the two sites, which cover over 55 hectares of land between them, will now hold the local nature reserve (LNR) status due to their special nature interest and educational value.

Councillor Donald Wilson, culture and communities convener at The City of Edinburgh Council, said, “Edinburgh is already a wonderfully green city and we want to ensure it remains that way for generations to come.

“There are many benefits that come with designating these parks as LNRs and there is no doubt that the ongoing pandemic has reinforced how vital access to greenspaces is to us all. The declaration of these as LNRs means that they are not just protected but they will be managed and improved with the conservation of nature as a priority.”

Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, culture and communities vice convener at The City of Edinburgh Council, added, “I’m delighted that we are able to designate these two new sites as local nature reserves. These are areas of natural beauty, rich in wildlife habitats and eco systems, and it is important that we recognise these and look after them for everyone to enjoy.

“We will be working closely with a range of partners and enthusiastic friends groups to preserve these important areas for the benefit of our future generations.”

A spokesperson from the local authority added, “The selection and designation of LNRs is in accordance with the Edinburgh biodiversity action plan. The Scottish biodiversity duty section of the plan contains an action to ‘continue a programme of developing and designating local sites’.

“It is hoped the status, which is already held by seven sites across the capital, will add more weight to funding bids and offer extra protection from future development.”