Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Peatland Working Group

Fifteen representatives of organisations from both within and outside the Moorland Forum met on 11 October in Perth to discuss the formation of a Peatland Working Group to be operated as part of the Forum.  The need for a coordinated approach to the management of peatland areas was recognised, and there was unanimous support for this Group.

The Group agreed that it would be useful to produce briefings on key topics as a way of harnessing the knowledge and experience available to the Group and increasing awareness of the issues.  As an example of the potential of this Group, Clifton Bain, the Director of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme, Mark Reed from Aberdeen University and Prof Stuart Gibb, Director of the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, would be cooperating to produce the first briefing that will provide a route map for developing a Peatland Carbon Code.

Following the meeting, the 2020 Climate Group published an article on their website.

More information will be available on the Forum's website shortly.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Asulam - Letter to The Scotsman

The Forum agreed the wording of a letter to the Editor of The Scotsman that was published today under the questionable title of 'Moor the Merrier'.

The full text of the letter can be viewed on the Forum's website and the published text can be viewed here.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

GWCT - Grouse management training course

The Grouse Keeper’s Course will take place 4-6 November 2011 on managed grouse moors in Glen Esk, Angus. The itinerary taps into the unique knowledge of well-respected grouse keepers and that of GWCT advisory and research staff to provide a solid understanding of these game birds and their needs.

Key topics will include:  Heather burning, Tick and louping ill control, Grit and direct dosing, Strongyle worm counting, Heather beetle, Grazing management, Bracken control, Black grouse habitats, Latest developments (including legal) in hill predator control techniques, New methods of counting red grouse and shoot planning

The hands-on course will also explore the wider conservation benefits from managing these species.

The cost of the course is £362 per person, excluding VAT and accommodation. Good accommodation is available nearby.

For more information see the Flyer and to book a place, contact Lynda Ferguson, tel: 01425 651013; email:

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Langholm Moor - Burning Under Licence

This ITV video clip shows an interview carried out with the headkeeper, Simon Lester, while burning was taking place on Langholm Moor before the start of the main muirburn season on 1 October.  The burning was taking place under an out of season licence granted by SNH.

The licensing option was introduced by the Wildlife & Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 2011 and this part of the Act came into force on 1 August 2011.

The Muirburn Group of the Forum is working with SNH and the Scottish Government to implement the licensing regime and the Group will also be advising on other possible changes (see the previous Post).