Union Proposes New Farmed Environment Forum

NFU Scotland has contacted key Scottish politicians this week asking them to consider a new forum to debate environmental matters that have implications for our farming and crofting sectors.

The Union will write to other key stakeholders in the coming days to gauge their support for such an approach to securing consensus in such sensitive areas.

The recent joint agreement between NFU Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage on sea eagle management and the progress on goose projects on both Islay and Orkney involving Scottish Government, SNH and local farmers and crofters are positive developments.

The Union is convinced that the common ground achieved in such projects presents an opportunity to create a new platform to discuss with other stakeholders a wide range of issues around the farmed environment.

NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller said:

“The last few years have seen a number of flashpoints develop between conservation and land management interests.  The situation is unproductive for all concerned and I would like to propose the establishment of a forum where key individuals from our respective organisations can discuss current and future challenges and find solutions before areas of conflict escalate.  

“Such collaboration can optimise land management options and capture new environmental goals.

“The projects on sea eagles and geese are good examples of where economic and environmental outcomes can be considered in parallel and a balance sought and pursued.

“Our vision for a future forum would see us engage with Scottish Government, statutory bodies such as SNH, Forestry Commission Scotland and SEPA, and institutes with interests in areas such as climate change and soils.  

“We would also want to involve those bodies that focus on biodiversity.  With land managers and farmers operating in a world where production systems must deliver both a living and a range of environmental benefits, including a broad sweep of wildlife interests and expertise would be important.

“Scotland’s farmers and crofters remain at the heart of both the rural economy and the protection and enhancement of our natural farmed environment.  NFU Scotland is committed to being a constructive partner in this area and a forum could provide the platform for achieving further progress in the future.”


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 163/14

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