Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Scottish Wildlife Trust Committee
Terms of Reference
The Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire local group has been in existence for over forty years and has built up a considerable membership over this period (almost 3,000). Historically the local Committee has organised an annual programme of events and talks focusing on a range of wildlife topics, which has attracted variable attendance. In 2022, the Committee decided to undertake a review of the activities of the local group. This was aimed at diversifying opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to become more active in finding out about, and taking part in the safeguarding of, local biodiversity. As a first step in this process, we have agreed to set out terms of reference incorporating the function and operation of the committee.
The main Aim of the Committee is to bring together people around a shared interest in Scotland’s biodiversity. This is achieved through four key Objectives.
- Raise awareness of the biodiversity of North East Scotland
Facilitate opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in safeguarding the biodiversity of North East Scotland and encourage submission of records to the Local Records Centre/appropriate recording scheme
- Invite speakers to deliver talks on wildlife projects and key conservation issues as part of the annual series of autumn/winter talks.
- Run at least five annual spring/summer outings across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire focussing on local projects or habitats.
- Highlight issues impacting local wildlife through the group website and on social media.
- Produce a newsletter twice a year which includes topical wildlife issues of local and national importance.
- Input into significant development proposals
Enable people and organisations to take their own actions for biodiversity
- Carry out practical conservation management in conjunction with Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves staff where needed.
- Facilitate opportunities for joint volunteering for the benefit of local wildlife e.g. with NGOs, Friends of … Groups, Rangers Services, Community Groups etc.
- Seek to break down barriers to involvement in activities from within the wider membership.
- Participate in local, national and global Citizen Science programmes.
- Encourage the sharing of sightings/records of local wildlife with North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC) and/or other appropriate recording schemes.
Promote the work of the Scottish Wildlife Trust to local members.
- Encourage individual actions, such as wildlife-friendly gardening
- Signpost information and support to enable organisations and businesses to aid biodiversity through their actions
- Highlight and champion people and groups that are safeguarding and enhancing biodiversity
- Promote national campaigns to members through the website, newsletters and social media.
The Committee is a constituted group and includes a number of office bearers who are elected/re-elected on an annual basis at the Annual General Meeting. These include Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. In addition to elected members, the Committee has a membership comprised of volunteers with diverse interests and experience. Membership is open to all members who share the common aims of the group. The Committee is dedicated to actively ensuring that opportunities are inclusive and every effort will be made to ensure there are no barriers to involvement by the wider membership.
Meetings will be held approximately every six weeks throughout the year, with dates agreed in accordance with the availability of the majority of members. Currently meetings are held online due the ongoing risks from the pandemic, but it is envisaged that meetings will partially or fully revert to in-person at a future date. The Secretary will take a note of meetings and distribute to Committee members.
Annual General Meeting
The AGM will be held each spring and is open to all local members. The meeting will consist of a Chairman’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, Election of Officers and Ordinary Members and Any Other Business.
The minutes of the AGM will be published on the website.
This committee holds a limited fund derived from donations at events and from small legacies from deceased members. These funds support local group expenses, for example, production of newsletters, a website and small projects supporting awareness-raising and enhancement of local biodiversity.
Amendment, modification or variation
These Terms of Reference may be amended, varied or modified only after consultation and agreement of the Scottish Wildlife Trust Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Committee members.
After being signed off/approved by the Committee these Terms of Reference have been adopted on the 8th November 2022.