Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority is a partner in Scotland's Environmental and Rural Services. SEARS provides joined-up access to public services on environment and rural affairs.
Planning for SEARS began in June 2007, leading to a public launch at the Royal Highland Show on 20 June 2008. SEARS brings together nine delivery-focused bodies within the Environment and Rural Affairs portfolio to provide more joined-up services, initially to rural land managers.
SEARS builds on the experience of the previous On the Ground programme, but it now reflects the current priorities of the Scottish Government, to reduce duplication, bureaucracy and overlap across the public sector in pursuit of greater efficiency, effectiveness and, importantly, the speed of delivery. SEARS is part of the Scottish Government's Simplification Programme, aimed at re-aligning public services to achieve more effective service delivery.
The National Park Authority is a committed member of the SEARS family. We have worked closely with colleagues in other SEARS organisations to ensure the highest quality service to land managers and other users of Park Authority services. We have also co-located with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Carrochan, the new National Park HQ building, and we are looking at other opportunities with SEARS partners to deliver joint services on the ground.
To read the highlights of the work undertaken by SEARS since its inception read the SEARS Annual Review.
Biosecurity - Good Practice Guidance
Good biosecurity practice refers to a way of working that minimises the risk of contamination and the spread of animal and plant pests and diseases, parasites and non-native species.
The SEARS Biosecurity Protocol has now been published. This guidance was produced in a collaborative fashion by members of the SEARS family and is specifically aimed at SEARS staff that enter rural land including estate land, farms, crofts, woodland, plant nurseries, aquaculture units, lochs and rivers.
The new protocol should become a vital tool in helping prevent outbreaks and the spread of pests and diseases across rural Scotland.
Land Use Strategy
Scotland's first Land Use Strategy was published on 17 March 2011. A short guide to the Strategy is available from the Scottish Government website.