Highlands & Islands Ecosystem for rural mental health and active healthy ageing

The Scottish Rural Health Partnership (SRHP) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have jointly accepted an invitation from the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance) to establish a new Ecosystem in the Highlands & Islands.

SRHP are really excited by this fantastic opportunity to create a new permanent mutually beneficial partnership for the Highlands & Islands which will focus on rural mental health and active healthy ageing with the dual aim of improving the delivery of rural health and social care services, and providing economic benefits.

A short film highlights the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere in South West Scotland and the role social enterprise plays within it.

The video, which you can watch below, shows people making the most of the natural assets through a range of adventurous outdoor pursuits such as mountain biking, canyoning and sea kayaking led by ACE Adventure Centre for Education.

Five projects and organisations from across Scotland have been named as outstanding examples of rural innovation by winning Scottish Rural Innovators Awards.

Rural Youth Ideas Festival
Name of organisation/business: 
Rural Youth Project
Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER

Efficient grassland management is one of the most important factors determining the profitability of beef and sheep farms across the UK. In a recent study conducted by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), it was shown that improving pasture usage by one tonne per hectare is worth an additional £204 profit per hectare per year to a beef farm.

A large Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) group spanning Scotland and Ireland has decided to focus on marketing hill sheep to other farmers as the best way to boost the declining profitability of the hill sheep industry.

Futureproof your Farm

Come and find out what’s out there to help you make the most of your farm business, at a time when the future seems uncertain.

Hear from farmers and others involved in:

The Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS)

RISS provides you with a facilitator to get your practical, sustainable business idea off the ground


The LEADER programme funds local projects including farm diversification.

Discuss your ideas with other farmers and RISS facilitators over lunch.

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.