Thursday, 27 October 2011

CAP reform - A Highland Council view

See the article by James Miller (in the John O'Groats Journal) on the discussions that took place in the Land, Environment & Sustainability Strategy Group of the Highland Council.  This comments on the proposed introduction of Vulnerable Areas.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Asulam - Formation of a Bracken Control Group

As part of the response to the ban on Asulam, it has been decided to set up a Bracken Control Group and I have been asked to coordinate the activities of the Group.

This has been in the offing for some time and I think it is a very logical step, and will serve to coordinate all interests in bracken and its control.

There is much to be done to develop an appropriate response to the ban on Asulam and to seek to ensure that bracken control programmes that are relying on this product can continue in some form.

A quick update to the bracken control website has been carried and more work will follow to allow this resource to be used by the Group.  A newsletter has been circulated to people I have been in touch with about Asulam already.  This can be downloaded from the website and there is a Sign Up option for anyone who would like to receive future copies direct.

Monday, 24 October 2011

CAP Reform 2013 Update

For those wanting a short cut to a summary of the proposed reforms, I can recommend the Smiths Gore update .

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Supporting Sporting Interests

I would like to draw your attention to the article on p32 in the Autumn Edition of SNH's in house magazine The Nature of Scotland.  The article goes under a title of Supporting Sporting Interests and comes out strongly in support of the wider benefits offered by sporting management.  

The article acknowledges that "conservation, hunting and fishing interests have many of the same goals" and "at the heart of a strong country sports industry lies a healthy wildlife resource".  These are welcome comments indeed and I doubt that any supporters of the Trust will disagree with these sentiments.  Well done SNH!

Friday, 7 October 2011

The Abbeystead Meeting - 27 September 2011

A Summary of the presentations and the discussion that took place at this meeting can be found on the News Page of the website.  The Summary covers the highlights of the presentations from the Abbeystead Estate and Natural England and the message I gave on behalf of the Trust.

This summary is not intended to reflect every part of the presentations or the discussion, and I would welcome any comments, form those who ere there, or others on related matters.  Please feel free to use the comment function on this Blog - do not be shy!

My thanks go to the speakers and all who attended.

Asulam - Moorland Forum's Letter to The Scotsman

The Scotsman has published a letter about Asulam, under the 'interesting' title of 'Moor the Merrier', sent by Scotland's Moorland Forum to the Editor.

The published letter can be seen here and the original letter can be viewed on the Forum's website.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Asulam - The Farmer's Guardian View

See the online article by Ben Briggs, published today.

GWCT - Grouse management training course

The Grouse Keeper’s Course will take place 4-6 November 2011 on managed grouse moors in Glen Esk, Angus. The itinerary taps into the unique knowledge of well-respected grouse keepers and that of GWCT advisory and research staff to provide a solid understanding of these game birds and their needs.

Key topics will include:  Heather burning, Tick and louping ill control, Grit and direct dosing, Strongyle worm counting, Heather beetle, Grazing management, Bracken control, Black grouse habitats, Latest developments (including legal) in hill predator control techniques, New methods of counting red grouse and shoot planning

The hands-on course will also explore the wider conservation benefits from managing these species.

The cost of the course is £362 per person, excluding VAT and accommodation. Good accommodation is available nearby.

For more information see the Flyer and to book a place, contact Lynda Ferguson, tel: 01425 651013; email:

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Asulam - Supply update from UPL

United Phosphorus Ltd has provided an update about Asulam that confirms the supply situation.  This confirms the advice for all landowners & managers, who want to apply Asulam next year, to contact a helicopter company or their Asulam distributor by 31 October 2011.

UPL also makes it clear that orders should be limited to the amount of Asulam required for next year's bracken control programme.

Asulam - Emergency Authorisations

The Chemical Regulations Directorate has provided guidance on the use of Emergency Authorisations under the latest regulations.  These will be essential to maintain the ability to apply Asulam during the period between the end of the use-up period on 31 December 2012 and the date that Asulam is re-registered for use.  Re-registration will not take place until 2016, at the earliest.

A key development is the removal in the latest regulations of the need for the requirement for the Emergency Authorisation to have been 'unforeseen'.

The advice from CRD can be viewed in the letter sent to UPL, today.