A cross border rural affairs conference

The future of food, farming and forestry was the subject of a cross border meeting at Marchmont House, Greenlaw, last week.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 12:17 pm
A future food farming and forestry conference at Marchmont was attended by Professor David Miller (James Hutton Institute), James Hepburne Scott (RSFS president and chairman, Tweed Forum); Louisa Macdonell (Scotland Office), Dr George Burgess (Scottish Government), Hugo Burge (Marchmont Farms Ltd), Councillor Mark Rowley (SBC and SOSA), Adrian Dolby (Buccleuch), Steven Thomson (SRUC), Professor Chris Spray MBE (University of Dundee and Tweed Forum), Sue Pritchard (RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission), Dr Jane Atterton (SRUC), Professor Lorna Dawson CBE (James Hutton Institute).

It was part of a series of events being held throughout the UK as part of a RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) two year independent inquiry by their Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and was hosted by the RSA Fellows’ Borders Fellows’ Network.

The rural economy and sustainability were at the heart of the day long event, with talks by Professor Lorna Dawson and Professors David Miller from the James Hutton Institute, Dr Jane Atterton and Steven Thomson of SRUC (Scottish Rural College), and Louisa Macdonell and Dr George Burgess from the Scotland Office.

The Borders perspective was given by James Hepburne Scott and Professor Chris Spray from the Tweed Forum, Adrian Dolby of Buccleuch, James Withers, Hugo Burge, from Marchmont Estate and Scottish Borders councillor Mark Rowley, particularly in relation to the Borderlands Growth Deal, South of Scotland Economic Partnership and the South of Scotland Alliance.

Event organiser Ann Packard said: “An event introduction slide scoped 350+ issues relevant to the Marchmont event or cited at the November Biennial Land Use Conference - a stark A-Z list of many, but not all, the food, rural communities, land use or related challenges and policies under consideration at this time of constitutional change.

“Event aims included: definition and promotion of UK level ‘policy asks’; plus asks’ to each of the Scottish Government, SOSA and SoSEP; to input suggestions to ‘Borderlands’; ensuring Scotland’s expertise feeds directly into the RSA’s Commission; promotion of cogent collaborative inter-disciplinary dialogue between those interested in the Borderlands, SOSA and SoSEP; ensuring devolution is recognised and respected as new policies emerge.”