Have your say on plans to make Stirling Scotland’s greenest region


Plans to transform Stirling into the greenest region in Scotland are out for public consultation.

Stirling Council’s ‘Alive with Nature’ Plan sets out the actions the local authority and its partners have identified to create a healthier and more resilient natural environment across Stirling.

Developed in partnership with NatureScot, SEPA and the Green Action Trust, the plans address the twin climate and nature emergencies through the protection and restoration of Stirling’s natural environment.

It is a key component of the Council’s Climate and Nature Emergency Plan that was approved recently by Councillors.

Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, Cllr Jim Thomson said: “Through our ‘Alive with Nature’ Plan, we want to make the Stirling area into Scotland’s greenest region, where our stunning natural environment is enjoyed and valued by everyone.

“The aspirations in the document underline our ongoing commitment to combat climate change and conserve biodiversity across Stirling.

“We all need to play our part to make this plan a success so please join the conversation on this crucial issue by taking part in our survey.”

Recent international reports show the damaging effects of climate change on the planet and that one million species are threatened with extinction. However, both studies also demonstrate that there is still time to turn things around.

The ‘Alive with Nature’ Plan will be the primary route for the Council to achieve the commitments it has signed up to in the Edinburgh Declaration, an international agreement to ensure action is taken at all levels to protect biodiversity.

Some of the high priority actions outlined is in the draft blueprint include:

  • The planting of at least 160,000 new trees by 2025.
  • The planting of more than 1 million new trees by 2045.
  • The rollout of three new active travel routes incorporating green infrastructure by 2024.
  • Changes to land management, including grass and verge maintenance, tree planting and use of pesticides in line with Stirling’s Pollinator Strategy.
  • Bring three vacant and derelict land sites into productive use of nature, business and community. 
  • Engage 1,000 volunteers per year to generate engagement from currently under-represented communities.


Vice Convener, Cllr Danny Gibson said: “By investing in our beautiful natural environment and working in partnership with communities and landowners, we can bring positive change across Stirling, creating healthier, wealthier and happier people and places.

“Whether it’s protecting and restoring our precious ecosystems, creating woodland or growing wildflower meadows, we can halt biodiversity loss and contribute to the achievement of a carbon zero society.

“These are issues that affect us all so please take a few minutes and have your say on our plan for action.”

The consultation on the draft ‘Alive with Nature’ Plan will be open until 13 September, and the feedback from the public will be used to refine the Plan, which will be presented for approval at a future meeting of Stirling Council.

Please head to the Engage Stirling platform to view the plan and take part in the survey

New ‘Stirling Loves Local’ Gift Card Launched


Stirling Council Media Release

News about a specialised gift card scheme is being launched with support from the Scottish Government. Businesses in Stirling are being encouraged to sign up in an effort to support local spending as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Businesses across the region are being urged to sign up to the new Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, which is funded by the Scottish Government and aims to to encourage more people across the area to back local businesses.

The significant show of support for local businesses across Stirling is being delivered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) – the organisation spearheading the Scotland Loves Local Campaign. The Gift Card scheme is a partnership with Perth-based fintech specialist Miconex.

Businesses can sign up for the scheme at www.lovelocal.scot/giftcard where they can complete the simple two-step form and registration process. The Stirling Gift Card is one of 32 Gift Cards, unique to each region of Scotland, and can only be spent in businesses located in the region.

STP and Miconex are working with Stirling Council to launch the regional gift card, with the first year of costs being met by the Scottish Government as part of its £10million of support for Scotland Loves Local. There are no registration costs for businesses. Payments are processed as part of the Mastercard network.

Supported by the Scottish Government and others, Scotland Loves Local is the campaign urging people to think local first by spending in businesses and attractions around them – evoking the strong community spirit witnessed at the peak of the coronavirus crisis

Paths Working Group July 3rd

The Thornhill Paths Group are meeting for their second regular working group on Saturday at 11am. We will focus on two areas: the Muir Dam path for strimming and possibly ditch digging; and on the Hedges Path strimming and cutting back of overgrowth.

Those willing to work on Muir Dam path meet at the CHURCH hall and others at the Community Hall, both at 11am.

Please bring strimmers or secateurs. If you don’t have either you could still help by clearing cut materials.

We will potentially be working with prickly material so thick gloves, long sleeves and trousers are advised, as are stout shoes. Don’t forget sun cream, insect repellent and fluids.

It’s going to be fun… honest!

NB there will not be a work group this Sunday.

Have your say on Stirling’s strategy for managing trees and woodlands

Stirling Council is seeking the public’s views on its policy for managing trees and woodland across the region.

The Council is responsible for around 15,000 individual trees on land along roads, streets, parks, and other open spaces throughout Stirling.

The new Tree and Woodland Policy, which will contribute to the Council’s wider initiatives and efforts to tackle the climate emergency, details guidelines for managing and inspecting all trees that the Council is responsible for.

It also makes a commitment to increase the number, area, age and species diversity of the Council’s trees and woodlands.

As part of the new Policy, trees would only be felled as a last resort where there is a clear safety risk. The Council would also commit to, where trees do have to be felled, replacing them either in the same location or as close as is suitable.

The woodland areas owned and managed by the Council extend to around 400 hectares, delivering a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits to Stirling’s residents, visitors and businesses. These include:

–        Improving biodiversity

–        Storing CO2

–        Providing shelter in winter and shade in summer

–        Health benefits

–        Mitigating flood risk.

Please visit the Engage Stirling platform at https://engage.stirling.gov.uk/en-GB/projects/tree-and-woodland-policy-consultation to view the plan and express your views.

Muir Dam Path

Over the winter volunteers from the Thornhill Paths Group have been repairing stiles and strimming back overgrown areas along the route to make it safer and easier to negotiate. They are now looking for the path to be walked regularly to keep it open, so get your boots on!

The Muir Dam Path starts in the village behind the Church, follows the Cesintully Burn, passes through Nellie’s Glen and over Boquhapple Ridge to reach the dam. It is approximately 3km one way (6km there and back). There are lovely views on the way up and just think of the workout you’ll have going over the stiles!

The ground is rough and can be wet so stout footwear is advised. As always in the countryside please respect the farmers’ crops and keep dogs on leads when sheep or cows are around.

A description of the walk is available here