Rural and Environment

  • In the news: global climate strikes

    20th September 2019 by

    You may have seen in the news today that a day of action is taking place across the world to raise awareness of the global climate emergency.  Scotland is a world leader in tackling climate change. We have already almost halved greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 while growing the economy, increasing employment and productivity. Now...

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  • Rural Support Bill

    13th September 2019 by

    Farmers and agriculture businesses in Scotland are at the heart of our rural communities. They manage and protect our countryside, produce high quality food and are a key part of any solution to climate change. With the UK hurtling towards a potential no deal Brexit, it is absolutely vital that we have the necessary mechanisms in place to mitigate any impacts as far as possible. Try as we might, we can’t mitigate against every impact, so individual farmers, crofters, land managers, individuals and businesses should be looking seriously at what they can do now, if they are not already.

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  • Rural Scotland and the Programme for Government

    12th September 2019 by

    Rural Scotland makes a vital contribution to our national economy. Our rural and island assets provide natural and business resources for key economic sectors, especially food and drink, but also energy, tourism, creative industries and life science. I am clear that we must work to build on these successes to improve the wellbeing of our rural, coastal and island communities and provide a positive future for them. Having declared a global climate emergency, achieving our climate ambitions will involve harnessing the power and capital of rural Scotland. This is a challenge, but also an opportunity for us to help people…

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  • Farm Advisory Service

    11th September 2019 by

    A survey published today has shown that 90% of farmers and crofters have implemented advice given to them through the Farm Advisory Service. But what is the Farm Advisory Service and how can it help you?

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  • In the News: £160 million returned to Scotland

    5th September 2019 by

    You will have seen in the news that in yesterday’s Spending Round statement at Westminster, that the Chancellor finally confirmed that the UK Government would right a historic injustice around EU farm payments. In 2013, the EU announced moves to pay Common Agricultural Policy payments more fairly, on the basis of average Euros per hectare. The UK received what was known as a convergence uplift only because of Scotland.

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  • What are ‘heat networks’?

    3rd September 2019 by

    Every day more than 800 heat networks are supplying warmth and hot water to over 23,000 households in Scotland. This innovative and environmentally friendly way of supplying heat involves a distribution system of insulated pipes that carry hot water or steam from a central source and deliver it to homes and businesses. Networks can vary...

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  • Bew review results delayed

    30th August 2019 by

    Commenting on the apparent delay to the publication of Lord Bew’s recommendations into intra-governmental Common Agricultural Policy funding allocations, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland’s farmers deserve to know the outcome of Lord Bew’s review. The recommendations should not be left to gather dust on a shelf in Whitehall while farmers face the most challenging environment for a generation as a result of an impending no deal Brexit.

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  • This week: Clean energy, South of Scotland funding and Crown Estate consultation

    30th August 2019 by

    £1 million funding for South of Scotland Enterprise Projects to develop rural skills, community enterprises and female-led businesses are the latest recipients of more than £1 million from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP). The Partnership has awarded a total of £1,045,184 to five projects, including an initiative to improve Galashiels Town Centre and...

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  • Orkney leading the way on climate change

    15th August 2019 by

    The parliamentary recess provides a valuable opportunity for Scottish Government ministers to spend even more time meeting communities across the country. This week I visited the beautiful Orkney islands to see and hear first-hand how Orcadians are rising to the challenges of climate change unique to island communities and capitalising on innovation in the shared...

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  • Climate change cabinet, green infrastructure funding and timber transport

    9th August 2019 by

    Climate change-themed travelling cabinet During this week’s travelling cabinet, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened a new £6 million project which uses cutting-edge renewables technology to harness energy from waste water. Ms Sturgeon launched the Stirling District Heat Network project while visiting the city as part of the 50th Travelling Cabinet. The project, which...

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