Keep Ganavan Green – 17.6.21

Ganavan is one of the few areas the Chequered Skipper butterflies thrive in the whole of Scotland.

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The latest community survey of appropriate land use at Ganavan has pointed up nature on Ganavan’s green space as being of paramount importance.

It is heartening to see just how much wildlife has been spotted recently in the mosaic of habitats that make Ganavan home to such an impressive and important diversity of species.

Photographs posted on the Friends of Ganavan (FoG) group Facebook page show sightings of the very rare Chequered Skipper and Marsh Fritillary butterflies, as well as newts and of course black grouse – all species considered at risk.

There are just around 10 core areas where Chequered Skipper butterflies cling to existence in Scotland, with Ganavan at the southern end of these strongholds forming an important ‘resevoir’ for repopulation of other areas.

This illustrates the exceptional nature of the environment at Ganavan which we are all privileged to enjoy.

The habitats are easily damaged so it is really important to leave the entire area as untouched as possible.

The ‘green space’ at Ganavan behind the beaches and into the surrounding hills is designated as a ‘Potential Development Area’ (PDA) for housing, tourism and recreation in Argyll and Bute Council’s new Local Plan (LDP2).

Our communities have spoken regarding retaining the area for its environmental benefit, for education, recreation and health and wellbeing. Opportunities such as these presented ‘on our doorstep’ are very special and to be appreciated by everyone.
Many of us would not know of any of these rare species had they not been flagged up as part of saving Ganavan’s green space.

Alongside the abundance of flora and fauna, Jane Terris’s Heritage Ganavan group is working up points of interest on the historical walking trails throughout the area.

These include the turf dykes, cup marks, a pre-historic hut circle, lazy bed cultivation and Second World War sites. Add these to the outstanding geological features of the area and the educational element of all these dimensions and it is easy to see why the importance of the area to Oban, its communities and visitors is unparalleled.

Many visitors come to Oban because of Ganavan and all it has to offer in its stunning scenic setting. To lose this area when so much use is being made across the board would be as one of the survey comments outlined ‘an outright act of vandalism.’

FoG has been campaigning to ‘Keep Ganavan Green’ since a first community survey showed everyone wished to preserve this area as it is for the benefit of both local communities and visitors.