We are delighted that Clare Symonds will be giving BSCG a talk about improving planning in Scotland on Wednesday 30 March in Carrbridge village Hall at 7.30pm. Clare is the founder and chair of Planning Democracy and has been recognised in the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum’s Green List for her work to improve community engagement in Scottish planning. Clare has worked on community empowerment issues in both local government and the voluntary sector strengthening her belief that a robust, democratic planning system is crucial for shaping fairer and more sustainable places.

2016 March talk Clare Symonds poster

Planning Democracy is a national charity established in 2009 with the aim of strengthening democracy by promoting a stronger public voice in the Scottish land-use planning system. Planning Democracy was established in response to growing concerns from individuals and groups who found that Scotland's planning reforms, implemented in 2009, had made little difference to their ability to understand and influence the planning process. There is a perceived failure of democratic planning which has resulted in many people feeling dis-empowered, and unable to influence what happens in their own areas. The concern it holds is that this situation leads to development being strongly dictated by market forces and has huge implications for social and environmental injustices. Planning Democracy wants to ensure the public is fairly and equitably involved in the planning process believing this will lead to more locally accountable, robust planning decisions, driven by need rather than profit.

Planning Democracy is a campaigning and influencing charity. It is the only organisation in Scotland representing the community perspective and promoting cultural and structural changes to facilitate greater public participation in Scotland's planning system.

With growing calls for a fairer and more balanced planning system and with an election for the Scottish Parliament approaching, Clare’s talk that will encompass some of the range of the work of Planning Democracy promises to be particularly timely.

2015 Nov tallk poster

Illustrated talk by Andy Ford who works for the Cairngorms National Park Authority as their Cairngorms Nature Manager.

Andy Ford’s illustrated talk will highlight some of the key species in need of conservation action in the Cairngorms, and review the progress that has been made with the Cairngorms Nature Action Plan as well as look at a range of future challenges and opportunities.

8.00pm Wednesday 25 November
Carrbridge Village Hall.

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Photo: 16 April 2010 Environmental Hustings.

Come along to Aviemore Community Centre on Friday 3rd April 7.00 – 9.00 pm to meet the candidates for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey and put your questions on the environment to them.

All 7 candidates competing for the seat held by Danny Alexander have been invited to the environmental hustings organised by the Badenoch & Strathspey Conservation Group.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Admission is free with donations welcome.

BSCG is hosting this environmental hustings in Aviemore to enable the public to put their questions on any aspect of the environment to prospective candidates in the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey seat for the Westminster General Election on 7th May. This seat is currently held by Lib Dem Danny Alexander.


Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander 
Scottish Christian Donald Boyd 
UKIP Arthur Durance 
SNP Drew Hendry 
Conservative Edward Mountain 
Scottish Green Isla O'Reilly 
Labour Mike Robb

We are most grateful to Bill Sadler, Coordinator of the Grantown 250 Anniversary celebrations, who will be chairing the meeting.
We anticipate this will be a valuable opportunity to find out more about how different candidates stand on caring for our environment.

The Scottish Environment LINK's 'Manifesto for the Westminster General Election 2015' has been prepared for use by all political parties and candidates seeking election to the House of Commons in May 2015. BSCG is a member of Scottish Environment LINK which is an umbrella body for environmental groups across Scotland.

We are also following all the candidates that have twitters on our BSCG twitter.

Location: Aviemore Community Centre, Muirton, Aviemore, PH22 1SF.

Illustrated talk on Tuesday 18 November at 7.30 pm in Dulnain Bridge Village Hall on ‘Wildlife Conservation in Glenmore and other FCS Forests’ by Kenny Kortland who works for the Forestry Commission Scotland as their Species Ecologist. Kenny has worked on wildlife conservation for many years and this is an opportunity to hear about practical conservation work the Forestry Commission is undertaking in local forests for a wide range of wildlife large and small.

Free entry. Donations welcome.

Dulnain Bridge Village Hall (on main road, near the garage and on same side of road, beside the church. Parking at front and back of hall).

This talk will be preceded by the BSCG AGM at 6.15 – 7.00pm.

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The Group’s next public meeting is an illustrated talk ‘Water abstraction throughout the Spey catchment’ by Roger Knight who is the Director of the Spey Fishery Board & the Spey Foundation.

Talk followed by a chance to ask questions.

Thursday 23 January at 8.00PM in Nethybridge Church Hall.

See event details.

Free. Donations welcome.

Further info: Tel 01479 821 491