RSPB drops objection to work at nature reserve following ‘serious concerns’ being answered

Insch Marsh (Shutterstock)

THE Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has withdrawn its objection to the 10 mile Crubenmore to Kincraig A9 dualling scheme.

The charity had ‘serious concerns’ over the project due to a stretch of work being required to be carried out at their Insh Marshes nature reserve, which is of national importance and provides home to a huge variety of wildlife.

However, following dialogue over a number of years between Transport Scotland and RSPB Scotland, the charity has dropped its objection to the scheme which forms part of the Scottish Government’s wider commitment to make the whole of the A9 road between Perth and Inverness a dual carriageway.

Transport Scotland said it will work with RSPB to identify a number of opportunities to strengthen and support habitats for the wildlife of the Insh Marshes. The national transport agency added that the work will improve the ecological value of land near to the scheme and also enhance the available wader habitat in the area for the long term.

Jo Blewett, A9 dualling programme manager, said, “The Scottish Government is committed to dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness, underlining its commitment to connecting Scotland’s cities with a high quality transport system that will generate sustainable economic growth.

“We welcome the positive discussions with the RSPB on the proposals for the 10 mile stretch of the route between Crubenmore and Kincraig which includes the Insh Marshes and we are pleased that the collaborative approach will help to protect the many bird species that use this hugely important National Nature Reserve.

“When completed, the A9 Dualling programme will bring many benefits to local communities, businesses, visitors and road users living, travelling and working along the route including reduced journey times, improved journey time reliability and, crucially, improve road safety for all users.”

Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, said, “Insh Marshes is such an important place for nature and people. RSPB Scotland has been in discussions with Transport Scotland over a number of years to ensure that nature does not lose out from the proposed works. We are very pleased that we now have the information and commitments from Transport Scotland to allow us to remove our objection. We will continue to work with Transport Scotland as the project progresses to achieve the best outcome for nature.”