Sunday, 22 February 2015

Northern Ireland: Heather Burning & Bracken Control II

Good to see that the interest in bracken control and prescribed burning in Northern Ireland that was in evidence in the meeting last month was repeated at a second event. See the report in Farming Life.

The active involvement of the NI Fire & Rescue Service in these discussions is encouraging. Prescribed burning should be seen as a way to reduce the risk of damage from wildfire and therefore reducing the NIFRS' exposure to wildfire.

I am pleased to have been invited to help with a wildfire event in Northern Ireland, next month, and I look forward to working with NIFRS. I will put more details on the Blog, in due course.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Scotland: Rule changes for farm and forestry tracks

Scottish Land & Estates has published a useful summary of the new regulations that apply when constructing or upgrading farm and forestry tracks.  This work remains as "permitted development" but it is now subject to conditions and prior notification to the planning authority to establish whether approval is required for the proposed work.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Golden Plover Award in the Press

See the article published in the Deeside Piper today, which describes the success of the Finzean Estate last year and reiterates the challenge to the owners and managers of moorland in Scotland, with a peatland interest, to come up with a worthy successor to Finzean for the 2015 Award.

"Applications for the 2015 award are welcomed from any owner or manager of land in any part of Scotland who can demonstrate a real commitment to sustainable moorland or upland management. Applications from the more remote parts of Scotland are encouraged , as are applications from individuals.

The Golden Plover is not just an award for estates.

The theme for the award is peatland management and restoration; applicants will be expected to demonstrate how they are managing their peatland to improve its condition.

Application forms are available to download from the GWCT and Heather Trust websites.

The deadline for applications for 2015 is Friday, 27 February."

For more details see the Award's website:

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Upland farmers face biggest shake up in a generation

Photo: Yorkshire Post
See the article in The Yorkshire Post that describes the stark choices facing upland farmers as incomes are expected to dip when the new EU payments (including the agri-environment scheme, to be called Countryside Stewardship) come into effect.

The importance of grazing management in our uplands cannot be over-emphasised, but farmers need to be able to make a living from these areas if they are to stay in business and manage the uplands the way that they know best.

Golden Plover Award in the Scotsman

See the article published in The Scotsman today to see what others are saying about this award.

As a reminder, the closing date for applications is 27 February and full details about the award and the application forms are on the Award's website.