Sunday, 11 March 2018

Principles of Moorland Management


Background
The Principles of Moorland Management (PoMM) project is funded by SNH and seeks to develop guidance with a practitioner focus.  It avoids re-inventing guidance that is already available but aims to draw all the information that relates to a particular topic together in one place.  Input from people with specialist knowledge who are not members of the Moorland Forum is encouraged to make sure that the guidance is as representative as possible of all views.  The Moorland forum will be responsible for reviewing any guidance that is published through PoMM on a regular basis so that the guidance is kept up to date.

Current Topics
The plan was for topics to be kept light and to link to other information wherever possible so that we could achieve a quick turn round between starting to prepare the guidance and then publishing it.  The  in-built ability within PoMM to refine the guidance after publication would allow the guidance to be refined and improved.

This laudable objective has not been achieved in practice.  However, we are now close to the publication of the guidance on three topics:
  • Worm Control in Grouse
  • Heather Cutting
  • Mountain Hare
The guidance for these topics has been made available for Forum members to review in advance of the discussion that will take place during the postponed Forum meeting on 23rd March.  Being an optimist, I am anticipating publication soon afterwards.

Future Topics
Having got the first three topics to the point of publication, I am now looking for topics for the next phase of work.  Current proposals include: 
  • Input to the development of a Trapping Code of Practice by SNH
  • Sheep Tick Control
  • Management for Waders
  • Monitoring of Mountain Hare populations
  • Fire Danger Warning System
Suggestions
My question to everyone with an interest in the Scottish uplands is what other topics should PoMM be providing guidance for?  The guidance need not be long and involved; it could be as simple as a side or two of bullet points that provide a summary of the key issues and links to other guidance, reports or information.  I see this sort of guidance being prepared by someone who has specialist knowledge of a topic, who might already have prepared more detailed information.  The PoMM guidance could be seen as a way to promote the report or other information to a wider audience.

Longer more detailed guidance can be prepared, but I would welcome suggestions for some 'quick-wins' as well.

Funding
The PoMM project has funding and provided any proposals meet the requirement of the PoMM Steering Group, funding may be allocated to support the preparation of more guidance.




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