Clock ticking in fight to save T In The Park ospreys


RSPB attacks festival organisers for lack of action to protect endangered birds

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10th March 2015 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Time is running out to save endangered wildlife at the proposed site of this year’s T In The Park festival.

The festival is due to go ahead at Strathallan Castle in Perthshire after it was moved from Balado – but a conservation charity says it is worried not enough has been done to mitigate the impact thousands of revellers will have on rare species and habitats.

Organisers DF Concerts had planned to move an osprey nesting site – something RSPB Scotland reluctantly agreed with.

Such an operation is rare – but can be done if approached properly and if a new platform is built in time for the return from Africa of the migratory raptors.

As a result RSPB Scotland did not formally object to the proposals, despite its misgivings, after getting assurances from DF.

It seems that giving Scotland’s nature a home is at the bottom of the promoter’s priority list

However, the charity now says it is alarmed that work has not been carried out – despite the highly protected birds’ imminent arrival.

Any attempt to disturb birds once they are back at their breeding site will be reported to Police Scotland, the charity said.

It lambasted DF Concerts, calling them “poorly organised and unprofessional”, alleging that there is no evidence of plans to mitigate the effect on other threatened species.

A spokesperson for RSPB Scotland said: “The details of how T in the Park will avoid harming wildlife should have been sorted out many months ago. If it was well planned, there is no reason why T in the Park shouldn’t be able to happen at this site and result in no overall harm to wildlife – but we have yet to be given anything like the reassurances we need. 

“Frustratingly, even though many of the music fans who go to T in the Park will also be fans of wildlife, it seems that giving Scotland’s nature a home is at the bottom of the promoter’s priority list. 

“In our response to the planning application we made it clear that a number of additional measures were required to reduce the impact of this major event on wildlife, particularly the resident breeding ospreys. 

“We also need to see other measures in place for other species. For example, as far as we are aware, no habitat creation has been undertaken for other important species such as kingfisher and other ground nesting birds. If the promoters are serious about their application, this positive action should have been taking place already to offset any potential impacts on wildlife and habitats.

“We are sure those planning to attend T in the Park this year would not want the festival to harm Scotland’s wildlife. In fact, they will no doubt expect that the concert should be a model of best practice in this regard. The onus is now firmly on DF Concerts to implement all the necessary mitigation measures, otherwise T in the Park may not be able to go ahead without major changes.”

DF Concerts has been asked for comment.