Thursday, 27 February 2014

Forest Enterprise Scotland - Open Land Workshop

It may surprise you that in Scotland, within the National Forest Estate, there is about 200,000 ha of open land, which is land that is not planted with trees.  In June, last year, the Forum was commissioned by Forest Enterprise Scotland to attend a workshop in the Galloway Forest Park to consider the use of two areas of open land and to make recommendations for how these areas could be managed.

A report from the workshop is available on the Forum's website and I would like to encourage members to review the report and to let me know what they think about it.  I will raise this at the Forum meeting tomorrow (28 February) and I will welcome feedback about the approach, the content and/or the recommendations.

As an indication of the scope of the report, the national implications coming from the report covered: restoration of peat hydrology, monitoring of peatland, grazing management, wet heath management and bracken control.

Forest Enterprise has suggested that another workshop could be held in a different part of the National Forest Estate this year and no doubt this would throw up a range of different issues.  I would be interested to hear whether you would be willing to support a workshop, if the issues were relevant to you.

Forum Briefings

Members might like to consider making better use of the network that the Forum provides to circulate briefings, or information about activities or events.  The best time to do this is during the build up to a meeting, but I can use this Blog, the Newsletters and the website to draw attention to your briefings etc.

I suggest that we could all do more to break out of our silos and make better use of communication channels that are available to us.  You have paid your subscription, why not make use of the Forum's links as a way to get your message across to a wider audience.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

New Chairman for SNH

Photo: Northern Times

Ian Ross has been appointed as the new Chairman of SNH, to succeed Andrew Thin.  The article in the Northern Times has more information.

I will be trying to organise an early meeting for Lord Lindsay with Ian Ross to provide him with first hand information about the work of the Moorland Forum.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chairman's Working Group - 7 February

The meeting was held at the RSPB Scottish HQ, Edinburgh

Attendance: Apologies:
Jamie Lindsay Chairman Andrew Coupar SNH
Simon Thorp  Director Malcolm  Younger RICS
Anne Stoddart Administrator Davy McCracken SRUC
Tim Baynes SL&E Ronnie Kippen SGA
Roger Burton SNH Adam Smith GWCT
Will Boyd-Wallis CNPA
Hugh Dignon SG
Alex Hogg SGA
Duncan Orr-Ewing RSPB
Chris Wernham BTO

Summary of the Discussion

1               Agenda for the Forum meeting on 28 February  

  • Modified and agreed.

2               Species Interactions

  • New title agreed: Understanding Predation
  • Paper discussed at the meeting would be revised to incorporate the issues considered, and the revised version would be circulated to Forum members for review at the Forum meeting.
  • Scope to be: "Avian and mammalian predators of wild birds".  Piscivorous birds would be excluded, but it was agreed that the scope could include mammal on mammal predation where it was relevant.

3               Forum Summer Meeting

  • Mar Lodge at Braemar was the preferred option and details will be presented at the Forum meeting.  Members will be asked to consider the proposal.

4               Development of best practice Moorland Management Guidance          

  • This would be a development of the Principles of Moorland Management, published by the Forum in 2003.  The proposal that was discussed would also be presented at the Forum meeting.

5               Governance

  • Four members had yet to pay their annual subscriptions.

6               SNH Chairman

  • An early opportunity would be sought for the Chairman and Director to meet Andrew Thin’s successor as Chairman of SNH.