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Cromarty Firth Data Project 2003 - 2004

This project ran between March 2003 and March 2004. The main objective of the Cromarty Firth Data Project was to improve the accessibility of key environmental information to existing and potential developers and other interested parties, thereby serving to better inform decision making and improve the management of the Cromarty Firth.

The outputs from the Project contribute towards improving awareness and understanding of the estuarine environment, improving the knowledge base of the Firth and assisting developers and decision makers, by providing a single, easy access point for all information.

The Cromarty Firth is of great economic importance to a wide range of industries, encompassing agriculture, fishing, timber, distilling, oil related activities, business and industrial parks, shipping, transportation, tourism and leisure. Unusually, all this activity takes place in an outstanding environment with a wide range of conservation designations, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), RSPB reserves, National Nature Reserves (NNR), a Ramsar Site, a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The Cromarty Firth is therefore an area that requires good, integrated coastal zone management.

The Cromarty Firth Data Project was built on earlier coastal management work undertaken by the Cromarty Firth Liaison Group (CFLG) and the Moray Firth Partnership (MFP) and was developed as a practical response to increasing understanding of the Cromarty Firth and directing stakeholders to existing information.

The added value of this project includes the partnership approach that allows the project to be implemented in a holistic way. The project specifically addressed areas of work not previously done in the Cromarty Firth, including a review of data, the identification of trends, and recommendations for monitoring of impacts on the environment.

More than 70 individuals and 40 organisations participated in the project in some way. Development of the project was co-ordinated by a Project Officer and was managed by the Cromarty Firth Group, a partnership of representatives from Cromarty Firth Port Authority, the Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The Environmental Data Inventory
This was an on-line resource that pulled together all relevant Cromarty Firth related information and provided details on where to go to get the data. Information was given on a wide range of datasets and environmental reports from statutory monitoring data to research reports to surveys. Where available, hyperlinks were included to take you straight to the information source. No longer web enabled, the Access database is available on request. 

The Developers Pack
An on-line resource to accompany the inventory and acted as a one stop sign posting service for those with an interest in development and environmental issues. The pack featured information on the Firth, links to information held on relevant agency sites, and a searchable 'Who's Who' Directory for the Cromarty Firth.

The Final Report (63kb pdf)
This report gives more background to the project, details progress on all the outputs and makes recommendations for the future.