The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the draft Land Use Strategy 2016-2021.

The ten-week consultation seeks views on the future of land use, with the aim of getting the most from Scotland's land in an integrated and sustainable way.

A range of policies and proposals are set out including:

The rural charity RSABI has launched its 2015/16 Help for Heating Fund.

Fixed grants of £300 are available to anyone with a background in farming, crofting, forestry, horticulture, fish-farming, game-keeping and rural estate work, who is in fuel poverty (when a household has to spend 10% or more of its income to maintain acceptable levels of warmth) and meets RSABI criteria for receiving financial help.

RSABI Welfare Manager, John Macfarlane, who oversees the Help for Heating Fund said:

The Scottish Government is hosting a series of workshops to discuss the Environmental Co-operation Action Fund and to answer questions about the scheme.

These free workshops will include general queries and, if you are thinking about applying, questions on eligibility, priorities, and project proposals with a view to encouraging high quality applications.

Changes to the Scottish Government's Croft House Grant Scheme are being considered following a public consultation.

The Croft House Grant Scheme (CHGS) provides up to £1.4 million in grants each year towards the cost of building or improving homes with the aim of attracting and retaining people in the crofting areas of Scotland.

A new initiative offers crofters free advice and support for creating and managing woodland.

The Croft Woodlands Project aims to help create 500 hectares of new woodland on croft land by 2020 by overcoming the barriers identified in the 2014 review of crofter forestry, including difficulties with funding and cash flow.

The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) has published a brochure on research and innovation across European Union borders.

EIP-AGRI's Research & Innovation across EU borders brochure aims to help you find your way through networking and cooperation initiatives in agriculture and forestry.

The Anders Wall Award for individuals who have made a special contribution to the rural environment within the European Union is open for entries.

Anders Wall Foundation from Stockholm in association with the European Commission, Directorate General for the Environment, Brussels, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and the "Friends of the Countryside", has decided to introduce the award.

The landowner of the selected project will receive a prize of €15,000.

Eligibility criteria:

Scottish Rural Action have announced that the first Scottish Rural Summit will take place on 24 November in East Lothian.

This event will bring together invited representatives from the public sector, rural communities and others to look at opportunities for rural Scotland to be empowered, connected and sustainable.