The South of Scotland is now one of the fastest growing areas for community ownership in Scotland and communities are purchasing a wide range of assets including shops, estates, forestry, harbours, community centres, business and retail space and land for housing – to name but a few.
Bracken can be a serious problem on hill grazings and marginal land. Without careful management, large areas can easily be overrun, which is bad news for everything from livestock to wild birds. Uncertainty about the future use of the traditional herbicidal spray Asulam has prompted people to look again at bracken control techniques, to strike a balance between productive agricultural land and the bird and insect species which depend upon bracken habitats.
The conference will explore models of food production that have a focus on fair work for people, high welfare for livestock, environmentally regenerative closed-loop production and sustainable circular economies.
The event will take place at Rainton Farm in South West Scotland, home of The Ethical Dairy, the largest cow with calf dairy farm in Europe.
Come and join the Soil Associations third meeting at Mouldyhills, where they’ll be looking at how the five trial plots (which were seeded last summer) have fared this year in challenging conditions. The field lab will be joined again by grass and soil expert James Bretherton from AgScope.
A key reason for reason for much of South West Scotland having been designated as the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is its long history of agriculture and forestry which has shaped our landscapes, our biodiversity, our local economy and our local communities.
With changes on the horizon leading to increased pressures for afforestation, particularly of commercial monoculture, the intensification of livestock farming in our lowlands and the threat to the sustainability of hill and upland farming from Brexit, the makeup of the region is going to change.