I have been invited to be on the panel for this debate, representing Scotland's Moorland Forum - details below
The Squeezed Middle Debate: Addressing conflicting land use demands in Scotland 30 August 2012, 1.30pm to 4.30pm The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ
The ‘Squeezed Middle’ is the land zones which exist between quality farmland and high mountains, in which it is especially challenging to plan the right blend of land uses to best meet policy objectives and societal demands.
This land (Macaulay Land Capability for Agriculture Classes 3.2 -6.1) can support livestock farming, some arable production, forestry and sporting ground. It delivers many societal benefits, such as the provision of clean water, renewable energy sources and high levels of biodiversity interest. The quality of landscape or native woodland habitats can also impose policy restrictions on some land uses. Getting the right mix of multifunctional outputs on this finite resource is a complex issue.
The Land Use Strategy for Scotland (2011) outlines the overarching policy framework, however land use policy is multifaceted and is becoming increasingly complex and often contradictory. Join us to debate the future of the 'Squeezed Middle'. Using scientific evidence, the debate will highlight the potential conflicts and offer some options for future land use under different policy scenarios.