Thursday, 22 December 2016

Farmers' Letter to Santa

When sitting in front of the fire nursing a full stomach and hopefully a full glass, reflecting on an interesting 2016 and where the heck 2017 is likely to take us, I recommend a read of Alan Spedding's Farmer's Letter to Santa.  As he says, it is a long list, but I did not find any of the requests unreasonable.

The challenge might be how to prioritise the items on the list with Santa, as his sleigh is unlikely to be big enough to deliver all these requests in one go.

Another challenge will be to identify what Alan might have missed, especially in an uplands context.  In the festive spirit of peace and goodwill, a bit less conflict and some willingness to cooperate would be a good place to start.  Who knows, if this idea caught on, collectively we might be able to achieve a lot more for our uplands and that would really make this a good Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 16 December 2016

John Phillips

John Phillips died on 2nd December and I attended his funeral in Largs, yesterday. His obituary can be viewed on the Trust's website.

It was good to see many members of the Trust at the funeral and there were reminiscences of the type of incidents and activities that John will be remembered for, from throughout his 82 years.

It was John's vision that led to the formation of the Joseph Nickerson Heather Improvement Project that became The Heather Trust in 1994, and I took over, as Director, in May 2002.

John is described in many ways, but it is clear that his impact was significant, and he is remembered widely even now.  His passing marks the end of an era.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Bracken Control - Asulam available for 2017

On behalf of the Bracken Control Group, I submitted an application for an emergency authorisation that will allow asulam to be available for bracken control in 2017.

I am pleased to be able to report that the application has been approved and an emergency authorisation will be issued, next year.  The relevant dates for next year will be confirmed by the letter of authorisation but they are likely to be:

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.
Application of Asulam can commence.

First expiry date: for sale & distribution of stocks.
Storage and use of stocks can continue.
Final expiry date: for disposal, storage and use of stocks.
It will be illegal to apply or store Asulam after this date.

The registration process to make asulam available under the latest EU regulations is continuing.  The possible timing of the approval has been updated and it is now possible that registration will be achieved by mid-2018.  This is a year earlier than had been thought and if this occurs, an application for an Emergency Authorisation will be needed for 2018, but there is a chance that it will not be required.  Here's hoping.

For more information see the Bracken Control website, which has recently been revised.