Recognising excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in nature conservation, the eighth annual Nature of Scotland Awards co-sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage are open for applications until 4 June.

SLE Annual Spring Conference 2019 - Maximising the Margins

‘Maximising the margins’ – the theme of this year’s conference – will explore land use in our more challenging and fragile areas. The event will look in depth at how rural business can rise to the challenge of increasing social, economic and environmental benefits.

The conference will examine how to maximise:

Sustainable Land Management

To look at opportunities for sustainable land management/community farming/new ways of farming the land.

Find out more

Scottish farming businesses are celebrating following award wins at the 2019 Scottish Rural Awards last night (Thursday 21 March).

Mossgiel Farm, an Ayrshire based dairy enterprise, were overall winners in the Agriculture category last night, with judges praising their original approach to single use plastic waste in the dairy industry.

Taking Runner-up spot in the Agricultural category was Air An Lot, a crofter from the remote Isle of Lewis, using methods that have been used for hundreds of years and bringing 21st century aspects such as social media.

The charity behind Stirling’s popular click and collect farmers’ market has been awarded over £208,000 from the EU to roll out the model across rural Scotland.

Update 10 April 2019, please note this article has been updated to reflect the extended deadline for applications.

The 2019 Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) round is currently open to applications and closes on 17 April 2019.

Tickets for the UK’s first Ethical Farming Conference have opened for booking. The conference takes place on Thursday 16th May in south west Scotland and will explore models of transferable, scalable and sustainable ethical food production.  The conference is being co-organised by four Scottish farms who all lead on an ethical proposition – Mossgiel Farm, Peelham Farm, Rainton Farm and Whitmuir Organic.

Rush Control Roadshow 2019

Soil Association Scotland is inviting farmers to three free on-farm events with Five Agri consultant Ian Cairns, designed to help you make a plan for tackling rushes over the year ahead.

Controlling rushes in conjunction with livestock grazing and good soil management to encourage grass can reduce the need to buy in feed, fertilisers and herbicides, says Cairns.

Four young farmers and crofters have been appointed to champion a cultural and behavioural shift towards low-carbon, environmentally sustainable farming in Scotland.

The Young Farmer Climate Change Champions will work through peer-to-peer learning to highlight how farmers can improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce costs, and enhance the sustainability of their businesses.

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon made the announcement, which was a Programme for Government commitment, while visiting one of the champions’ croft in the Cairngorms.

The free annual event, which is being held at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Tuesday 26 February, will feature presentations from a range of speakers, including Rebecca McEwen, who gave up a career in film and TV to run Arnprior Pumpkins on her husband’s family farm.