Breeding season caution plea by SNH

walkers and cyclists in the Borders are being urged to be aware of vulnerable birds and animals with the approach of spring.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) says lambs and ground nesting birds are particularly at risk in spring, so it wants dog walkers, cyclists, hill walkers, and anyone enjoying the outdoors to be particularly careful.

To reinforce this message, the agency is launching a campaign this month which includes radio adverts, press adverts, and leaflet drops.

The campaign emphasizes the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, promoting responsible access and how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and includes mail-outs to dog-walking companies, and vets, and digital ads on walking websites.

Ashleigh Tooth of SNH told TheSouthern: “Scotland has some of the best access laws in the world for those who enjoy the outdoors – but with that comes responsibility for our wildlife. We want to encourage everyone to enjoy Scotland’s nature while caring for Scotland’s countryside at the same time – whether that means keeping your dog under control, avoiding fires, or picking up litter.”

Spending time in the outdoors in a responsible way has been proven to have beneficial effects on peoples’ health and well-being, as well as the country’s finances.

Research by SNH in the ‘valuing our environment’ report found that 11 per cent of Scotland’s total economic output depends on sustainable use of the environment. This is worth £17.2 billion a year and supports one in seven of all full-time jobs.For more information on how to enjoy nature responsibly and outdoor access rights, see www.outdooraccess-scotland.com.