The 2018 Scottish Rural Parliament will take place in Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway on 14th– 16th November. If you live in or are passionate about rural areas in Scotland, you can attend to learn and make your voice heard. This year's theme is "Taking Action".

The event brings together people from rural communities with decision-makers, for three days of celebration and exploration. Participants examine a wide-range of issues affecting rural communities and make recommendations for change.

Following on from the 11th OECD Rural Development Conference in Edinburgh in April, Scotland House in Brussels went on to host the workshop  ‘Enhancing Innovation in Rural Areas: The Experience from Scotland’ in Brussels this June.

A new industry led group to share, disseminate and encourage adoption of advances in agricultural science and technology has been established. The group will explore the opportunities surrounding agricultural technologies as a means of helping farmers maximise on farm efficiency and the subsequent economic and environmental benefits that this can bring.

The establishment of the new group is the fulfilment of a commitment made within the agriculture chapter of the recent Climate Change Plan, which was laid before Parliament earlier this year.

Enhancing Innovation in Rural Areas - The Experience from Scotland

The Scottish Government earlier this year launched the Rural Innovation Support Service to improve and further develop innovation across the rural economy in Scotland. 

Following on from the 11th OECD Rural Development Conference in Edinburgh in April, Scotland House would like to invite you to a morning workshop on ‘Enhancing Innovation in Rural Areas’ in Brussels on 7 June 2018.

The Scottish Rural Network is now on Instagram. Follow us at scottishruralnetwork

We'll be posting regular updates of our work along with images, video and interviews from across the network, so give us a follow!


The Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) have made an immediate impact since their inception earlier this year, and now have 15 groups forming. A large group of hill sheep farmers is looking at possible ways to increase their profitability in these difficult times; eight farmers in Lockerbie and a veterinary consultant are exploring sustainable solutions to liver fluke; a dairy workers co-op is forming in the South West and other groups are tackling midges, meat processing and oat supply chain issues.

In an innovative trial beginning this spring, Trees for Life will harness the power of local mushrooms to boost reforestation at its Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston near Loch Ness.

The conservation charity’s experts and volunteers are to introduce a special mix of spores collected from mushrooms on the Highland estate when planting native trees on the hills and when growing seedlings in Dundreggan’s tree nursery during this spring.

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust has announced details of its 2018 surveys, in which volunteers and marine scientists will carry out pioneering research into the health of whales, dolphins and porpoises off Scotland’s west coast using photogrammetry – the science of making measurements from photographs.

The world's first competition of Snow Rowing has been held in Savo, Finland.

Snow rowing is based on a new regional invention, the snow rowing machine. The machine combines traditional rowing boat oars and skis mounted on a device on which you can sit on while rowing across snow or ice. The machine is being further developed with the aid of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.