Balancing the use of land in the Borders

Land use in the Leet Water and Eye Water catchment areas has been part of a pilot project in the Borders looking to establish a more integrated approach to land management.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 8th August 2014, 12:00 pm
The Leet Water is one of the catchment areas included in the Borders land use pilot project
The Leet Water is one of the catchment areas included in the Borders land use pilot project

The Borders and Aberdeenshire were selected by the Scottish Government for the pilot projects and over the the past years meetings have been taking place in six catchment areas across the region gathering the views of land owners, farmers, and all members of the public with an interest in how we use the land.

Scottish Borders Council and Tweed Forum have been working in partnership on the Borders land management project and have been selected to make a presentation at the UK National Ecosystem Follow-on launch in London about their work in developing an integrated approach to land management as the pressures and demands on our natural assets continue to increase.

Over the past few months a series of meetings have been held across the region, including Whitsome where land use in the Leet Water catchement area was discussed, and at Reston where the focus was on the Eye Water.

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The pilot is developing a flexible structure to help different land users make informed decisions, aided by a new mapping tool. It is based on an ecosystem approach balancing the need for clean water for drinking, woodland for carbon storage and flood management, soil for food production and wildflower grasslands for pollinating insects.

Project manager Andy Tharme, an ecology officer with SBC, said: “I’m delighted that the pilot project has received such recognition and it is a tribute to the work of the council, its partners Tweed Forum and the many stakeholders and communities who have been taking part.”

Councillor Ron Smith, SBC’s executive member for planning and environment, added: “This excellent pilot initiative will help provide a platform for the council and its partners to meet its ambitions for the Borders, including supporting our communities and progressively using Rural Development Funds to their best advantage and this national recognition demonstrates that the Borders are leading the way.”