Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Scottish Wildcat Association winding down – Wildcat Trust to carry on

WildcatWe’ve had the pics and link to the Scottish Wildcat Association since we started this Blog, and as it’s all we can really do help give it a little more publicity to the sad decline of our wildcat – when we started, the tag-line of the site was “Less than 400”, but some 8 years later, the news in the association’s posts is that less than 100 may actually remain.

That’s clearly not good news, and one has to question the efforts of others who are spending their time suggesting bears be introduced into Scotland.

Preserving and securing what we have using what little resources are available (I’m sure not many people care) surely makes more sense than trying to establish something that does not currently even have an environment that would support it.

The news got slightly worse today, as I made one of my occasional visits to the association’s web site to see if the was anything happening.

There was, bad news, coincidentally announced the same day I happened to look, in so far as the local organisation is concerned, is that it seems it was just too small to make a difference, and is to be wound down.

The more positive aspect of this development is that the efforts will become part of the newly founded Wildcat Trust, hopefully to be a larger and more influential organisation with a Europe-wide remit.

Rather than strangle the detail, and get something wrong, I reproduce (inc typos as this is a copy) the announcement below:

Latest News

14/08/2013; Latest news… After a series of meetings and discussions with members, the charity regulator and other conservationists involved in supporting the wildcat, the Scottish Wildcat Association is in the process of winding down and dissolving.

We have found it increasongly difficult to attract the level of funding required to truly make a difference to wildcats limiting the charity remit to Scottish wildcats alone. As a result, a new charity, the Wildcat Trust, is in the process of being formed by various conservationists who have worked closely with the SWA over the years.

The Trust will take a wider remit, seeking to benefit wildcats across Europe with a focus on the fieldwork methodology developed in Scotland on our Wildcat Haven project. They will continue to progress the Haven project in Scotland and seek the higher level, cross-Europe, funding that can make a difference for these cats.

Wind down and set up processes run very slowly in the charity sector, so the SWA will be around for sometime and continue to collect donations to be passed on to the Wildcat Trust for their work in Scotland. Memberships and sponsorships are closed to new sign ups or renewals, and similar systems will be developed under the new Trust. Simple donations and general merchandise are still available, any moneys left in the charity account at wind up will be passed to the new Trust specifically for use with Scottish wildcats.

We have made every effort to ensure that this period of change doesn’t affect efforts with the wildcat; fieldwork will continue to run with the same people in the field doing the same work neutering feral cats and researching the conservation needs of the species, all that is really changing are the charitable structures around that.

This website will remain open as a point of resource to those seeking information on wildcats and at a later point transfer to the Wildcat Trust.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the charity over the years, which acheived a great deal in a short time with very little resources. We have taken these decisions with great thought and more than a little sadness, unfortunately there is a vast chasm between the financial support wildcats need and the finances we have been able to raise, and with time rapidly running out we must find new directions and ensure that everone’s attention is focused on them.

We will update periodically as the trust progresses and the Government’s wildcat action plan reaches its final stages, which we still hope will make the right decisions and seek to conserve the true Scottish wildcat in the West Highlands, potentially the only place it remains and certainly the only place it can have a long term future.

Via Scottish Wildcat Association, conserving Scotland’s critically endangered wild cat

We can only wish this new venture every success with its efforts.

Aviemore go-cart site survey

I had been intending to see if any progress had been made after this story was published in February 2013:  viemore go-kart site to be surveyed for wildcats

Reason being, someone had pointed at a Facebook page where somebody was complaining about the opening of the go-kart track being delayed. I didn’t see it, as I won’t touch Facecrook with a disinfected bargepole, but having had a quick search, I found nothing about the survey, other than numerous repeats of the original BBC News story.

If anyone does happen to know about the survey or the track, we’d appreciate a note.


August 14, 2013 - Posted by | Appeal | , ,

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