The UK’s leading wildlife charity for the conservation of amphibians and reptiles has found a new pad in Stirling. Froglife, which is dedicated to saving the habitats of native frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards, is to move its Scottish HQ to Stirling University Innovation Park.
Stirling will become the new base for the charity’s Scottish Dragon Finder Project, an initiative aimed at spreading the word about amphibian and reptile conservation.
Scottish Dragon Finder Project Manager Clare Rooney said: “A major attraction for us in relocating to the Innovation Park is the potential for collaborative working. We look forward to swapping conservation ideas with our new neighbours in the Park, and exchanging knowledge with the University’s experts in environmental science.”
Having been previously based at Glasgow University, finding a business park with strong academic links was important to the charity.
Head of Stirling University Innovation Park Lynn Blaikie said: “We offer a dynamic enterprise environment that fosters the sharing of expertise and encourages innovative connections between businesses and the University of Stirling, one of the top research-led institutions in the UK.”
The Scottish Dragon Finder team have recently been joined by new trainee project officer, Stirling University graduate Alasdair Lemon, who will assist the team with the Heritage Lottery Funded project.
One of the project’s key aims is to improve data recording for amphibians and reptiles, particularly in remote areas of Scotland.
Froglife Project Officer James Stead said: “Scotland is a special place full of beauty and home to some amazing amphibian and reptile species, from the great crested newt and natterjack toad to the slow-worm and adder. These species sadly all suffer from loss of habitat through drainage and development, degradation of habitat quality through neglect and pollution, spread of disease and the spread of non-native species. Very little is known about the abundance and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the wilds of Scotland as these species are highly under-recorded in the hills. This comes mostly down to issues relating to accessibility and logistics. Stirling’s position in the heart of Scotland makes this huge task a little easier!”
The charity is urging Scots, particularly hill walkers, to participate in species recording during their walks to increase records in remote areas. Anyone can take part in data collection by downloading Froglife’s free Dragon Finder app which allows users to identify reptiles and amphibians and report a sighting.
Froglife will also be hosting both outdoor events (where you can get involved in pond-dipping and reptile rummages) and indoor events (including amphibian craft exercises and Dragon Finder activities) this summer across Scotland. To find an event near you click here.