§ Mr. Allan Roberts
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Nature Conservancy Council has now negotiated a management agreement with the owners of Gualin national nature reserve in Sutherland to protect it from damage caused by sporting activities; and if he will make a statement.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
[holding answer 21 January 1988]: I understand that the Nature Conservancy Council concluded a nature reserve agreement in 1971 with the then owner of Gualin estate. The council has obtained a legal opinion on the terms of that agreement which states that there is a right of vehicular access for estate purposes including the exercise of fishing rights by the present owners. The council has been unable to negotiate any change to that agreement. I understand that the owners of the estate have applied for planning permission to construct an access route within the Gualin national nature reserve, and that the council has indicated that it is willing, subject to planning permission being granted, to consider financial assistance towards the cost of constructing the route as a means of reducing the prospect of damage to the special interest of the reserve.