Rural and Environment

  • Support for farmers following severe weather

    26th April 2018 by

    I’ve seen first-hand the significant impact that the prolonged wet and severe weather has been having on farmers and crofters, resulting in higher numbers of dead animals, and acute shortages in feed and fodder in some parts of the country.

    There’s a lot that the Scottish Government is already doing to help farmers and crofters cope with the adverse weather conditions. This includes paying millions into the rural economy through our LFASS and BPS loan schemes to help alleviate potential cash flow problems. However, there is more we can do to help

    Read more

  • Crofting update

    12th April 2018 by

    This government is determined not to allow crofting to be simply a relic of our past: crofting must have a purpose and a role in our present and our future.

    That purpose is to support people to remain on the land and to bring people back to the land, with crofting also playing a role in creating a sustainable and productive environment in which people can live and work. To achieve this, crofting needs an effective regulatory and statutory framework.

    Read more

  • This migration season, will we see avian flu return?

    14th November 2017 by

    Last winter Scotland was lucky. We had no reported cases of H5N8 avian flu in domestic flocks. The rest of the UK was not so lucky as the disease was confirmed at 13 premises whose flocks ranged in size from nine to 65,000 birds. Here two experts have their say on the importance of practising good biosecurity measures.

    Read more

  • Boost for our bees and butterflies

    27th July 2017 by

    To coincide with the launch of our Pollinator Strategy, Craig Macadam, Conservation Director of Buglife, explains why we have to protect our pollinators. Imagine a world without chocolate. A world without coffee, wildflowers, strawberries, tomatoes. One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on insect pollination. It is almost impossible to over-emphasise the…

    Read more

  • International Day of Forests

    21st March 2017 by

    Today is the UN International Day of Forests 2017. The Scottish Government is committed to planting more trees. We have taken action to increase our planting targets from 10,000 ha a year to 15,000 ha by 2025.

    Read more

  • City greenspaces

    15th February 2017 by

    I am committed to continuing action on biodiversity protection, habitat restoration and encouraging our citizens to live more active and healthy lifestyles. Earlier this week, right in the heart of urban Scotland, I saw this in action.

    Read more