Friday, 29 April 2016

Asulam for Bracken Control 2016

The weather may be unseasonal, but I can confirm that should bracken decide to brave the conditions  this year, it will be possible to control it using asulam.

The Chemicals Regulation Directorate has issued an Emergency Authorisation that will allow asulam to be sold and transferred from 16 May 2016, and applied in the period 1 July - 12 September 2016.  There will be a use-up period until 31 October 2016, which will allow stocks to be applied or returned (if in unopened containers).  From 1 November 2016, it will once again be illegal to hold any stocks of asulam.

As the coordinator of the Bracken Control Group, I submit the application for the Emergency Authorisation for the UK and full details of the application are available on the BCG Website.

I urge anyone planning to purchase or apply asulam this year to read the conditions in the Emergency Authorisation, as it is important that the conditions are complied with.

Key Dates Summary 2016 
16 May 2016
Effective date for the Notice of Authorisation issued by CRD
Start of the Emergency Authorisation period of 120 days.
Storage, promotion, sales, and transfer authorised.
1 July 2016
Application of Asulam can commence.
12 September 2016
First expiry date: for sale & distribution of stocks.
Storage and use of stocks can continue.
31 October 2016
Final expiry date: for disposal, storage and use of stocks.
It will be illegal to apply or store Asulam after this date.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Scottish Land & Estates - Spring Conference - 25 May 2016

Scottish Land & Estates has announced details of their Spring Conference, which will be held in The Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh on 25 May 2016.

This conference offers delegates a unique opportunity to engage with Scottish landowners, representatives of land based business, rural professionals, politicians, policy decision makers and academics. The conference is designed to stimulate debate, introduce new ideas and approaches, explore challenges and identify potential solutions.

For more details about the conference and how to apply for a place, see the SL&E website.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Country Market & Sporting Sale 2016 - going live!

Starts: Midnight, tonight.
Closes: 7.00pm on Sunday, 8th May.

See the Website for details

We have a wide variety of great Lots and thanks go to all the donors for making the Sale so attractive once again.  Patrick and Samantha have done a great job putting it all together, and Patrick's artwork has added a unique quality to the promotion material.  We are all available to help answer any questions. 

Previously we have closed the Sale at 12 noon on the final Friday, but to accommodate those who can only bid at weekends, we have extended the Sale through until 7.00pm on the Sunday evening.  

You will hear much more about the Sale between now and 8th May so there will be no excuses for not bidding!  Please spread the word around the people you are in contact with.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Graze the Moor project - Molland Moor, Exmoor

Landowner, Christina Williams, in full flow
I had a good day yesterday on Exmoor, where I am project manager for the Graze the Moor project that amongst other work, is seeking to establish the impact of re-introducing winter grazing, principally by hill cattle, onto Molland Moor.

After a meeting in the estate office, it was a pleasure to get out onto the moor and see the benefits of the work that is being carried out by the project. Conditions were benign as the photo shows.

I am pleased that the University of Gloucester has shown a keen interest in this project and I am looking forward to introducing Prof Janet Dwyer and Dr Allan Butler from the Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester to the work of the project when they visit Molland next month.

Molinia starting to grow
One of the management challenges on Molland Moor is Purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea. In this photo you can see that the Molinia is already putting up green shoots after being burnt this spring.  Even in the Devon climate, heather cannot compete with this rate of recovery.  The project is considering how the dominance of Molinia on parts of the moor can be challenged.  We are thinking or raking out some of the mat of dead vegetation under the Molinia.  A dragged chain harrow has not been effective (and caused as much damage to the harrow as to the tussocks).  Has anyone had any success with this sort of approach?

To add an extra connection to the work, the cattle on the moor are mainly Galloway, and the farmer is seeking to upgrade them.  He bought the champion Galloway bull, and the runner up, at the bull sale in Castle Douglas, last year. These bulls came from Troloss Farm, which is owned by the landlord of the Heather Trust's office.  I drive through the farm every time I head north from the office.  

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Golden Plover Award 2016 - applications

The application window for this year's Golden Plover Award is closing.  We have received a good range of applications but would welcome more.  If you have been wondering whether to apply or not, today would be a good day to come off the fence and make the decision to make an application. It is a simple process - a phone call would do to start with.

This year we are encouraging applications from those who have integrated sheep into the management of their moorland and this has raised some interest from the farming sector. 

There is more information about the Award, and its development over the last three years, on the dedicated website: