During his visit to Tweed Shire Derek, who has been working with Scottish Borders Council to map the River Tweed and its associated land use to identify opportunities, such as alleviating flooding, increasing wildlife habitat, sustaining food production and improving water quality, will share knowledge with farmers, land managers and communities, about how they manage their land and rivers.
The Border Union Agricultural Society awarded Derek a bursary from the Bicentenary Bursary Fund after he came forward with what they thought was “an exciting and ambitious project well worth supporting”.
Derek, who lives in Kelso, will travel to Tweed Shire, New South Wales, Australia, to see how farmers and communities are addressing the challenges raised by global warming and population growth and how they balance the need for food and timber production with wildlife, water and soil conservation.
Derek said: “Tweed Forum has been working closely with a wide range of stakeholders across the Borders, to develop a map based tool to help facilitate land use decision making. We were really excited to learn that stakeholders living and working along the River Tweed, on the other side of the world in Australia, are looking and discussing very similar challenges.”
Ron Wilson, secretary of Border Union Agricultural Society added: “This project will increase Derek’s understanding of Australian agricultural and environmental challenges and he will be able to relate his knowledge to the tremendous project that he is involved with in the Borders.
“The bursary will help provide a mechanism to feed back some of these experiences to the benefit of the wider economy and environment of the Scottish Borders.
“The opportunities for reciprocating arrangements are significant.”
The Bicentenary Bursary Fund application forms are available the BUAS office, or at www.buas.org