Highlighting threats to native Scottish species

Graeme Dey, Angus South MSP, has agreed to join Environment Link’s Species Champion programme which aims to involve parliamentarians in highlighting the threat posed to 93 iconic Scottish species.

Mr Dey – who is Depute Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs Climate Change and Environment Committee – is assisting the National Trust for Scotland and Scottish National Heritage in championing the cause of Wooly Willow, a low shrub which it’s feared has been reduced to just 1,800 instances across Scotland.

Mr Dey said: “I’m pleased to become a Species Champion and lend my support to efforts to reverse the decline of Wooly Willow.

“Scotland faces a significant challenge in tackling the loss of bio-diversity and I chose to champion the cause of Wooly Willow because it is a shrub which is under serious threat.

“Thanks to the impact of red deer and sheep grazing I am told it is now to be found in just 13, high altitude, locations with only four of these boasting more than 100 plants.

“SNH and NTS, working with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, have carried out some re-planting work, including in the Cairngorms, to try and reverse the decline.

“But there remains much to be done to preserve the existence of Wooly Willow and our other threatened species.”