RSPB Scotland has appointed Robin Reid to be its new conservation officer for the Western Isles.
Robin formerly worked for the North Harris Community Trust and lives in Harris with wife Anna and their daughter.
Robin said, “I am delighted to take on this challenge. The Western Isles are incredibly important for wildlife and has habitats of international importance including the machair of the western seaboard and the Lewis peatlands. I look forward to working with colleagues from the RSPB, partner organisations and local communities to ensure that the wildlife of the islands continues to thrive and that local people benefit from these wonderful natural assets.”
Robin believes that working with communities is vital to achieving the RSPB’s goals, which he believes is shared by many local people. He places particular emphasis on the importance of crofting.
“The survival of crofting is fundamental to the outstanding biodiversity of the islands. It also underpins the distinctive culture of the area and is of enormous importance to many local people whether they are active crofters or not. I will do my best to ensure that this continues to be recognised and will use whatever influence the RSPB possesses to arguing the case for support for traditional forms of land management.”
George Campbell, RSPB director for North Scotland region said: “I am very pleased that Robin has agreed to become our new conservation officer. Robin brings with him very valuable practical experience of working in the Western Isles and he brings understanding to the challenges facing the crofting community. In addition to that, Robin is a much respected naturalist and chairman of the Western Isles raptor study group. The Western Isles is a true “wildlife jewel” and the conservation of its unique complement of species is a key priority for the RSPB in Scotland.”