Thursday, 5 June 2014

A "Bottom-up" approach but with far less crap please!

Let me draw your attention to a gentle rant published by Peter Thompson on his GWCT Blog.  He may be referring to a lowland river system, but his concerns about bureaucracy stifling progress and the lack of a link to any action rings true in any location.

A policy, initiative or project, no matter how good or bad it is, will only achieve something when it leads to some action. In relation to land, this means that the owner or manager of the land must understand what is being suggested and agree to act on it. Progress can only be measured by action on the ground.

Ideas come easy; implementation can be more difficult. The owners and managers of land are the delivery agent and for success must be involved in the development from the start.  However, owners and managers are busy people and are not sitting around waiting for the next shiny initiative to be delivered to them.  We need to make it easy for them, and everybody else, to understand what is being proposed by implementing a cutting the crap.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Peatland Management & Restoration

Photo: Andy Hay / RSPB Images
See the article on the BBC News website for full details about a £4m grant for the Flow Country.  The Trust supported the initial grant application submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund but it has taken about 12 months to get to this stage.  This demonstrates the commitment and pump-priming funding that needed, when pursuing these big grants.  

The funding represents a major funding boost for peatland restoration in the Flow Country and will work alongside the £15m of funding being provided by the Scottish Government for the Peatland ACTION project, thick operates throughout Scotland.  I am involved with Peatland ACTION through the Peatland Steering Group and Scotland's Moorland Forum and the Forum hopes to provide some input into running events for Peatland ACTION to help link theory to practice.

I am also supporting the development of the Peatland Carbon Code that seeks to develop a protocol that will allow private sector funding to be provided for peatland restoration and carbon capture.  This work, which is being sponsored by Defra, covers the UK and I am attending a steering group meeting in London, next week.  A key issue in the debate is the role of burning in peatland restoration, which I believe has a role, and this links to the discussions within the Best Practice Burning Group in England.

The Trust is living up to its strap line of "Promoting Integrated Moorland Management"!

Scotland: Land Reform Review Group report published

The final report from the Land Reform Group, commissioned by the Scottish Government, was published on Friday 23rd May 2014

Savills have published their view of the Report and I suggest that this offers a useful summary and a balanced response.  They have recommended a measured approach:
"Land and property owners need to be aware that change is ahead, but there is not much action that can be taken at this point in time. The Scottish political scene is very 'noisy' at present and owners would be best advised to reflect carefully on the report, and to participate fully in the public consultations and legislative programme that will ensue post the Referendum."