Monday, 20 January 2014

2014 - Highlights from early January

Highlights - Early January 2014

Review of Scotland's Muirburn Code
On 6 January, I submitted a revised report from the Critique Phase of the review that was carried out last spring.  This is a second draft after discussion with the Scottish Government and SNH and the next step will be to use the ideas coming from this phase of the work to develop the scope for a review process.  Taking my proposals I have drafted an outline to show what a revised code could look like.

Further discussion will take place with SG and SNH and then the proposals will be shred with the Muirburn Group.

The review is not straight forward, as I am determined that a revised Code should be relevant to all parts of Scotland and a range of different land uses.  I think the existing Code has been too narrow and of little relevance to the muirburn practices that have been employed traditionally in many parts of Scotland, particularly in the crofting counties.

Commissioned Work for Forest Enterprise Scotland
This is another report that has been revised following the submission of an original draft to FES.  The
second draft was submitted before Christmas and further comments on have been received.  I will be revising the draft and resubmitting the report.

It is important that we get the format of this report right, as I am hopeful that this initial project will lead to further events.  Time spent getting the feedback from this project into a form that meets the requirements of FES, will make it easier to do the next one!

I am conscious that some of those who contributed to this work have not received any payment yet.  I will be addressing this as soon as the report is finalised and I receive payment from FES.

Meeting with Bob McIntosh
Lord Lindsay and I met Bob McIntosh, Director Environment & Forestry, on 10 January.  This is a regular meeting that aims to brief Bob on the work of the Moorland Forum and review the plans for forthcoming work.

The principal issue for discussion was the Species Interactions project proposal and this was useful ahead of the planning meeting that was due to take place on 17 January.  Other issues discussed included:

  • How the Forum was supporting the Green Stimulus Peatland Restoration Project and in particular how pilot schemes  / demonstration events might be used to help with communicating the peatland message.
  • The Land use strategy and the support by the Forum for the Regional Pilots for the Action Plan in the Scottish Borders and Aberdeenshire.
  • Rural careers and the wish for the Forum to seek ways to support other initiatives.
  • The search for synergies between initiatives that were considering using demonstration events to communicate with stakeholders to avoid presenting conflicting messages.

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