Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Back in the Saddle: an Update

A slice of holiday and a busy period leading up to it has served to introduce a gap into this blog, but I am back restored, refreshed and re-focused, so will now pick up this blog again to bring followers up-to-date with the tales of everyday activity at The Heather Trust.

It is a fact of life in this fast-moving electronic age, that taking your foot off the throttle for even a short period means that on return there is a mountain to climb to get back on top of things.  I was away for 10 days, and even then thanks to electronic communications I was able to keep in contact for the first few days while stormbound in a WiFi equipped Danish yacht marina (but that's another story...).  This link allowed me to eat into the list of issues that I did not quite get finished before catching the ferry, but even so it is amazing how much can happen in a little over a week.

I am climbing fast and hope to be back on top of things shortly, but bear with me while this blog picks up on a few thing that took place while I was away.

Asulam & Bracken Control
The Notice of Authorisation was issued by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate on 20 May and this means that it is now legal to sell, transfer and promote the use asulam for bracken control.  The application period starts on 1 July and will continue until 18 September.  A use-up period will follow and this will allow application programmes to be completed and the product to be returned to the supplier or destroyed until the end of the period on 31 October.  After 31 October it will become illegal to store asulam again.

I am hoping for willing end-users and a good application season to justify all the expense and effort that has gone into getting to this stage.

Heather Trust AGM & Discussion Meeting
We have been working hard to organise the AGM in an interesting, original location and sifting through diaries and other commitments to come up with the best venue and date.  I think we have found  it.

The AGM and the associated Discussion Meeting will be held in Pickering, North Yorkshire, on 2 October 2013.

More details will follow.  All members will be welcome to attend and we will also be inviting supporters who are in reach of Pickering to join us.

Scottish Game Fair, Scone, 5-7 July
We will be present on all three days of the Game Fair and will be working on the GWCT stand to promote moorland management activity.  We will also be giving our Heather Beetle Survey a push and would be delighted to see anyone who is passing, especially if you wish to tell us about your experience of heather beetle.  Reports from the lucky ones who have not had a brush with heather beetle will be just as valuable as we try to generate a picture of where the outbreaks are located across the UK.

Scotland's Moorland Forum
Anne has been busy setting up the Forum's Summer Meeting which takes place on Friday (7 June).  This year the Forum is being hosted by the John Muir Trust and we will be given a view of their form of management at their new Wild Space Centre in Pitlochry and afterwards on Schiehallion.  These meetings are icebergs: there is such a large amount of information to cover that to get through it without members suffering 'death by PowerPoint' a lot of work has to take place in advance to get the information into a form that we can run through quickly.  We are now all set and ready for the off on Friday.

I will keep this blog going as a record of what we are up to.  But right now it is time to don my Scotland's Moorland Forum hat and prepare for a meeting organised by SNH to consider Predator-Prey relationships in Dunkeld.