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Annual Report and Accounts 2022

04-12-2023

 

THE CAIRNGORMS CAMPAIGN

 A Company limited by Guarantee, number 179159 and a Scottish Registered Charity number SCO05523

  

REPORT AND ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED

31 MARCH 2023

 

 

Working to help the Cairngorms retain their special qualities

 

APPRECIATE

RESPECT

CONSERVE

 

 

 

ACCOUNTS AND ANNUAL REPORT - YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2023

  

The Cairngorms Campaign is a charity, included in the Scottish Charity Register, number SC005523, incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee number 179159, and governed by a Memorandum and Articles of Association.

  

Registered office and all communications:  

 

“Letterbea”

Drumuillie Road

Boat of Garten

Highland

PH24 3BD

  

Independent Examiner

 T R H Phillips FCA

The Steading

Avoch

Ross-shire

IV9 8RD

 

 

Company’s bankers

 

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Inverness Chief Office

29 Harbour Road

Inverness

IV1 1NU

                                                                                                

Website:   www.cairngormscampaign.org.uk

 

e-mail:      cairngormscampaign@gmail.com

 

Purposes of The Cairngorms Campaign

 

The Company’s objects are to stimulate public interest in the future of the Cairngorms area, to promote public appreciation of, and care for, the character, beauty and ecology of the Cairngorms area, and to encourage all concerned, whether landowners, land occupiers, land management or other users, to foster or participate in active conservation of the Cairngorms area.

 

A specific aim is to protect and enhance the biodiversity, environment and sustainable human use of the Cairngorms, by seeking to influence decisions affecting these qualities accordingly.

 

The Company publishes a newsletter, “The Cairngorms Campaigner”, to inform members and others of its activities, and of issues and developments affecting the Cairngorms.

  

Directors

 The company’s Directors are as listed below.  Except as noted, each of the Directors served throughout the year to 31 March 2023.  

 JMT Ambrose   Treasurer

PF Allan (resigned 11 December 2022)

G Bulloch

K Charman

CE Dunn

HO Geddes 

Dr AM Jones

TP Jones

 

The Company’s Directors are elected by the members in General Meeting. 

The Directors are responsible for the decisions of the company, all are volunteers, and none received any remuneration from the Company.

 
Main activities and achievements during the year 

 

The Directors continued to act and meet primarily virtually over the internet

and communicated by e-mail and telephone.

 

National Planning Framework 4

 

Last year we provided comments during the public consultation on the Draft National Planning Framework 4, which sets out Scotland’s spatial principles, regional priorities, national developments and national planning policy. We are pleased to report that the finalised ‘NPF4’, that was enacted in February 2023, includes some welcome policies that reflect the Campaign’s priorities and comments. The Campaign emphasised the importance of addressing the climate and nature emergencies, and that this approach should apply to all planning decisions and plans including Local Development Plans. It is heartening therefore, that the Ministerial Foreword to the new Framework states, “Putting the twin global climate and nature crises at the heart of our vision for a future Scotland will ensure the decisions we make today will be in the long-term interest of our country”.  Policy 1 is hopefully a significant step in the right direction, requiring that: “When considering all development proposals significant weight will be given to the global climate and nature crises”. Also, Policy 3 on Biodiversity will hopefully strengthen the priority given to conservation, which has the Policy Intent to “Protect biodiversity, reverse biodiversity loss, deliver positive effects from development and strengthen nature networks”.

 

The Campaign promoted protection for ancient woodland sites and veteran trees and we are pleased that NPF4, in Policy 6, specifically does not support any loss of ancient woodlands, ancient and veteran trees, or adverse impact on their ecological condition; nor adverse impacts on native woodlands, hedgerows and individual trees of high biodiversity value.

 

We are very disappointed however at the weak policy in NPF4 on Wild Land. The Campaign called for protection of Scotland’s designated Wild Land Areas and the instigation of buffer zones around them and for Wild Land Areas to be given stronger legal underpinning.

 

Regrettably, Policy 4 states that “Buffer zones around wild land will not be applied, and effects of development outwith wild land areas will not be a significant consideration”. Protection against developments within Wild Land Areas is extremely weak and the policy appears designed to enable any development, large or small. The main thrust of the policy appears to be to “minimise significant impacts on the qualities of wild land” rather than to restrict development within them.

 

Glenmore

 

In April 2022 the Campaign became aware of major works underway at Glenmore where a contractor for Highland Council Roads was digging up the roadside near Loch Morlich in order to replace the long-established informal parking with formalised parking and parking meters. There had been no public consultation on this, nor planning application or environmental assessment of any kind. In addition, the works were hard up against veteran roadside Scots pines that make such a unique contribution to the exceptional landscape here, damaging their root systems and imperilling their future.

 

Initially Highland Council justified their approach of ignoring the British Standard relating to working around trees, not obtaining planning permission, and not undertaking any environmental assessments, on the grounds that they had Permitted Development Rights. Very disappointingly, the Cairngorms National Park Authority had agreed to provide £80,000, (some 66% of the project total cost of £120,000) without obtaining any specifics of what the ‘upgrade’ entailed; and NatureScot provided no guidance despite the landscape and ecological importance of the site.

 

The Cairngorms Campaign directors obtained invaluable, free legal advice from the Environmental Rights Centre Scotland (ERCS) and collaborated with the local conservation group Badenoch & Strathspey Conservation Group (BSCG) to communicate our concerns to the four agencies involved – Highland Council, landowners Forestry & Land Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority and NatureScot (formerly SNH). We also had very helpful communications with the national organisation The Lifescape Project and their environmental lawyers, who also wrote to the agencies.

 

The Cairngorms Campaign and BSCG sent a joint letter of complaint to Highland Council, explaining in legal terms the multiple illegalities of the work undertaken on the roadside. Highland Council conceded in writing that planning permission should have been obtained but had not been; damage to protected sites had occurred; there was a failure to assess environmental impacts; and the Council had breached their statutory biodiversity duty. However, they did not concede that they had breached their Climate Change Duty.

In the same joint letter, the Campaign and BSCG made a request for an immediate halt to the works and for remedial actions to be undertaken. The works did not resume, and after some time Highland Council commissioned an arboricultural report on the condition of the roadside trees. Broadly following advice in the report, remedial work was undertaken to undo the earlier damage. This included removing quantities of imported aggregate; replacing soil around the most badly impacted veteran pine roots and reinstating some original soil levels.

In terms of the remedial work undertaken, much of what the Campaign sought was delivered. although some aspects of the work were less than perfect. For example, the remedial works were undertaken in early summer rather than during the trees’ dormant period, as had been recommended; and lumps of tarmac waste were not removed to be disposed of appropriately. However, we were pleased that a professional arboriculturist undertook the independent tree survey and oversaw the remedial work, and we do consider that this work will have made a positive contribution to the prospects for better long-term health and viability of the trees.

As a result of Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland taking up our case, another positive outcome was their request to Environment Standards Scotland (ESS) to carry out enforcement action requiring Highland Council to review its policies and practices and ensure they are “fully compliant” with environmental law.

 

Following ESS pursuing this, Highland Council revised their Operational Procedures in March 2023. The revisions are certainly helpful and substantive, as long as they are properly adhered to, which might need some encouragement! The revisions require that where works are to be undertaken in “an area of designated interest”, including a national park, or where the works are to “negatively impact on any trees or protected species”, consultations with interested parties “must be undertaken”. Assessments or surveys of impacts on the environment, trees and specific wildlife species “should be considered as part of the design and consultation process” regardless of whether the works are permitted development which do not require formal planning permission.

 

In general terms, from an unpromising starting position, with damaging works already well underway and proceeding apace, the Campaign with others has been effective in getting a far better outcome, both on the ground and in policy affecting the future. This episode revealed the shocking lack of coordination between the agencies and the low priority apparently given by all of them to the landscape and environment of one of the most highly designated and visited locations in the national park.

Funding

 

Last year the Campaign contributed £500 towards the Strathspey Fly Review that is also funded by the Dipterists Forum and Cairngorms National Park Authority among others. Flies are highly diverse, fulfil many ecological functions and include some of our most important pollinators; they are a major element of the many ‘small things that run the world’.

 

Strathspey is well known as an invertebrate hotspot and significant areas are included within the ‘Important Invertebrate Area’. The An Camas Mor site, is one obvious example.   It is threatened with a new town of 1500 houses (promoted as ‘Aviemore’s Sister’) but supports a range of important fly rarities that are in danger of being lost.

 

The Review will collate information and thereby help raise the profile of this highly significant group that are an important, but too often neglected, component of the biodiversity of the Cairngorms. The review will advance understanding and provide a stronger foundation for the Campaign and others to argue for invertebrate conservation to be taken better into account in land management and in planning.

 

Work on the Review is continuing and we look forward to seeing the finished product.

 

Also last year, the Campaign provided £500 to a group of visiting fungi experts towards the costs of obtaining DNA analyses (bar coding) of hard to identify fungi. The remarkable ecological roles that fungi play are becoming increasingly understood and the Cairngorms are a rich area for them.

 

So far, some specimens for which bar codes have been obtained, have added species new to Britain as well as one extremely rarely recorded species. The results from further samples are awaited.

 

LINK

 

We continue to value our membership of Scottish Environment LINK and have signed up to a number of campaigns spearheaded by other organisations. It was a year of Government attention to many issues pertinent to the Cairngorms and through LINK we can influence government policy.

 

 

Financial Review and policy on reserves

 

The Campaign’s income exceeded its expenditure for the year by £2,485 (2022 – £5,693) and left the reserves with a surplus of £34,712 (2022 - £32,227) at the year end.  

 

This surplus is available for any of the Company’s aims or purposes.

 

The Directors will aim to maintain unrestricted reserves at a suitable level to fund likely projects for the next year ahead.

 

The Accounts have been prepared on a Going Concern basis because the Directors are confident that the Campaign will be able to meet all its obligations as they fall due.

 

Should the Company be unable at any time to raise sufficient funds to clear any accumulated deficit, it is possible that the guarantees of members, limited to £5 per member, would be called upon.   The Directors do not consider this a likely eventuality.

 

Statement of Directors’ Responsibilities 

The Directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and Financial Statements in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. 

Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (UK Accounting Standards and applicable law).  The financial statements are required by law to give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the profit or loss of the company for that period.  In preparing these financial statements, the directors are required to:- 

a.  select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently; 

  1. make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent; 

c. prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business. 

The Directors are responsible for keeping proper accounting records that disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. 

 

 

Audit and Independent Examination

 

The Directors have taken advantage of the exemption from audit conferred by Section 477 of the Companies Act 2006, on the grounds that the company is entitled to the benefit of that exemption as a small company.

 

Because of the company’s charitable status, the Directors have appointed an Independent Examiner to examine and report on the Accounts in accordance with the provisions of the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006.   His report is attached.

 

 

For and on behalf of the Directors: 

 

 

 

 

Tim Ambrose, Director and Treasurer                 16 November 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

INDEPENDENT EXAMINER’S REPORT

 

I report on the accounts of the charity for the year ended 31 March 2023 which comprise the Statement of Financial Activities, the Balance Sheet and the related notes 1 to 3.  I have also considered the information and explanations in the Directors’ Report.  My report is made to the charity’s board of directors, as a body, in accordance with the terms of engagement. My work has been undertaken to enable me to undertake an independent examination of the charity’s accounts on behalf of the charity’s board of directors and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, I do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the charity and the charity’s board of directors as a body, for my work or for this report.

 

Respective responsibilities of the directors and examiner

The charity’s directors are responsible for the preparation of the accounts in accordance with the terms of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006.  The charity directors consider that the audit requirement of Regulation 10(1) (a) to (c) of the Accounts Regulations does not apply.

It is my responsibility to examine the accounts as required under section 44(1) (c) of the Act and to state whether particular matters have come to my attention.

 

Basis of independent examiner’s statement

My examination is carried out in accordance with Regulation 11 of the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006. An examination includes a review of the accounting records kept by the charity and a comparison of the accounts presented with those records. It also includes consideration of any unusual items or disclosures in the accounts and seeks explanations from the directors concerning any such matters. The procedures undertaken do not provide all the evidence that would be required in an audit, and consequently I do not express an audit opinion on the view given by the accounts.

 

Independent examiner’s statement

In the course of my examination, no matter has come to my attention which gives me reasonable cause to believe that in any material respect the requirements:

to which, in my opinion, attention should be drawn in order to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

 

 

 

T R H Phillips FCA, The Steading, Avoch, Ross-shire.  IV9 8RD    


 

                                    

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES – YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2023

 

 

2023

2022

Incoming funds

£

 

£

 

Members’ subscriptions and donations

4,832

5,449

Gift Aid repayment

-

931

Legacy

-

6,315

 

 

 

Total income

4,832

12,695

 

 

 

Expenditure

 

 

Charitable expenditure

 

 

Newsletter, printing and postage costs

1,012

525

Website update and maintenance

36

216

Membership of Scottish Environment LINK

260

210

Cairngorms Fungus Survey

500

-

Cairngorms Fly Survey

500

-

Contribution to Report “The State of Scotland’s

Wild Land”

-

6,000

 

2,308

6,951

 

 

 

Support costs

 

 

AGM and meetings

26

38

Administration fees (Companies House)

13

13

 

39

51

 

 

 

Total expenditure 

2,347

7,002

 

 

 

Net increase in funds

2,485

5,693

 

 

 

Surplus brought forward

32,227

26,534

 

 

 

Surplus carried forward

34,712

32,227

 

 

BALANCE SHEET at 31 MARCH 2023

 

 

2023

 

2022

 

£

 

£

Current assets

 

 

 

Cash at bank

37,695

 

32,478

Debtors and Prepayments

-

 

2,138

 

 

 

 

 

37,695

 

34,616

Creditors: amounts falling due within one year

 

 

 

Accruals and deferred income

2,983

 

2,389

 

2,983

 

2,389

 

 

 

 

Net current assets

34,712

 

32,227

 

 

 

 

represented by:-

 

 

 

Surplus on accumulated funds at 31 March 2023

34,712

 

32,227

 

 

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the special provisions relating to small companies within Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006, and in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard (FRS 102) (effective 1 January 2015), and the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (Charities SORP (FRS 102)).

 

The directors are satisfied that the company is entitled to exemption from the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 (“the Act”) relating to the audit of the accounts for the year by virtue of Section 477, and that no members have requested an audit pursuant to section 476 of the Act.   Further, the directors are satisfied that the audit requirement of Regulation 10(1) (a) to (c) of the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (as amended) does not apply.

 

The directors acknowledge their responsibility for:

 

(i) ensuring that the company keeps proper accounting records which comply with Section 386 of the Act, and Section 44 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005

 

(ii) preparing accounts which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company as at the end of the financial year and of its income and expenditure for the financial year in accordance with the requirements of Section 393 of the Act, and which otherwise comply with the requirements of the Act relating to financial statements, so far as applicable to the company.

 

These financial statements were approved by, and signed on behalf of, the directors on 16 November 2023.

 

 

 

 

J M Timothy Ambrose MA BSc FCA CTA(Fellow) FGS, FRSGS

 

 

 

NOTES TO THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2023

 

1  Accounting Policies

The principal accounting policies adopted in the preparation of the financial statements are as follows:

 

a)      Basis of preparation

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102), and with “Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice” applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) (effective 1 January 2015) - (Charities SORP (FRS 102)), and with the Companies Act 2006. The Cairngorms Campaign meets the definition of a public benefit entity under FRS 102.  

Assets and liabilities are initially recognised at historical cost or transaction value.

 

b)      Preparation of the accounts on a going concern basis

The directors are satisfied that the company can continue to meet all its obligations as they fall due.

 

c)      Incoming funds

The company’s principal sources of income are annual subscriptions and donations from members.    Many members and other donors make payments under Gift Aid and the income tax recoverable by the company in respect of these is included with donations and is recognised when received.

 

The company’s membership and accounting year are the same.  A significant number of members pay their subscriptions shortly before the start of each year and these payments are carried forward in the company’s balance sheet as deferred income.

 

2  Officers’ emoluments

 

No Director received fees, emoluments or other benefit from the company, although certain incidental expenses incurred in carrying out the company’s objects were reimbursed.  No travelling costs relating to Directors’ meetings were reimbursed.

No fee was paid to the company’s Independent Examiner, and the Campaign is extremely grateful for his services.

No financial value has been placed upon the very considerable services provided to the company by its Directors.

 

3  Members’ funds

 

As a company limited by guarantee, The Cairngorms Campaign has no share capital, nor are its members required to contribute, except to the extent guaranteed (£5 per member) in the event of an insolvent winding up.

The surplus represents the net accumulated funds arising on the company’s main activities since incorporation.

 

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