Monday, 15 November 2010

A Busy Period

Since the start of November, I have been going through a busy period and rather than neglect the Blog and let this period pass without comment, I thought it would be relevant to add a composite post to provide a feel for the range of work I get involved with.

On 3 November, with Tim Baynes, representing the SRPBA, I appeared in front of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the IUCN UK Peatland Programme to be questioned on the written evidence I had submitted, which had also had some input from Martin Gillibrand of the Moorland Association.  This provided an opportunity to re-express the view that the work needs to address delivery as well as research and to speak in favour of muirburn.

I visited Langholm Moor Demonstration Project on 9 November to meet Simon Lester, the Gamekeeper and Damian Bubb, the Project Scientist, to make a start with setting up the heather beetle trial we have been asked to carry out.  This will look at different heather restoration techniques after the severe beetle attack this year.

The English Moorland Burning Working Group met in Newcastle on Thursday when the Trust's input to guidance documents, the IUCN Peatland Programme and Heather Beetle issues was in demand. 

We ran a Heather Restoration event at Glenlethnot in Angus on Friday for 36 people in total.  We were fortunate that good weather followed close on the heels of atrocious conditions on Thursday.  We looked at two different approaches: the soft approach, using burning and sheep to manage the heather (successful at Glenlethnot) and Geoff Eyre, who joined us from the Peak District, explained his spray-burn-reseed techniques. 

The weekend passed working on the latest draft of the report on the Uplands Solutions project for Scotland's Moorland Forum and then ended in the Peak District in preparation for the Moors for the Future conference, today & tomorrow - I am chairman for tomorrow.  The Upland Solutions project is an important piece for work for the Forum and the production of the report has been challenging.

Wednesday will see me in Edinburgh for a meeting with Rob Dick (Board member) and Richard Allen (United Phosphorus Ltd - owners of Asulox) to explore how the Trust could promote bracken control more effectively.  This is an important topic where I would like to see better coordination between the different interests.   

And finally in this run of activity I am giving a presentation to the North of England Raptor Forum on Saturday, near Huddersfield in Yorkshire.  I hope they know what to expect!

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