Using Our Land - a debate
Land use professionals are invited to Gordonstoun next month to take part in a debate on how Scotland can reconcile competing interests, priorities and economic imperatives around land use.
This opportunity to exchange perspectives and hear from an array of experts about their diverse involvements in Scotland’s upland landscapes takes place on Thursday 3 October from 1430-1800 at Gordonstoun School near Elgin, and is free to attend.
Anyone with expertise in or associations with agriculture, forestry, tourism, policy, food & drink production, ecology, energy and land use planning are warmly invited and encouraged to join the event to engage in this interdisciplinary discussion. The event will be chaired by Ann Packard of the RSA Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage Network and addressed by
- Professor David Miller, James Hutton Institute – Scene-setting and Closing Remarks
- Professor Bill Slee, James Hutton Institute - Land Use
- Jamie Whittle FRSA, R & R Urquhart, Solicitors, Forres - Renewables
- Michael Gibson CBE - A Livestock and Diversification Perspective
Prof. Iain Gordon of the James Hutton Institute summed up the need for the debate to include as many perspectives as possible:
Between the best farmland in the lowlands and wet moorlands and high mountains, Scotland’s ‘uplands’ are very challenging environments in which to optimise current and plan future land use, especially given the a range of societal demands. Those who own and manage upland terrain face multiple choices. It can support relatively intensive livestock farming; it often has high technical potential for tree growth, especially with conifers; increasingly, some areas are managed primarily for conservation; and it contains some relatively intensively managed sporting shooting land, especially grouse moors. The ‘squeezed middle’ of the uplands is usually multifunctional and delivers many other societal benefits, such as the provision of clean water, flood protection, high quality landscapes and high levels of biodiversity interest. It is often designated for nature conservation or landscape protection. Different groups can be affected by land use choices, leading to disagreement and conflicting claims. We need to ask how the squeezed middle zone of the uplands can best contribute to Scotland’s aspiration for sustainable economic growth.
Sponsors include RSA MCICH Network, James Hutton Institute, Walkers Shortbread Ltd, Anderson Strathern LLP, Johnston Carmichael, and RSA Scotland.
The MCICH Network is approved by the Trustees of the RSA www.theRSA.org which is a charity registered in England and Wales no 212424 and in Scotland SC037784. The Chairman is Vikki Heywood and the Chief Executive Matthew Taylor. Information about the RSA in Scotland is to be found on the relevant section of the RSA website.