Land project wins national recognition

A Borders land use project was one of just six chosen nationwide for presentation at the UK National Ecosystem Follow-on launch in London.

Scottish Borders Council and Tweed Forum began their strategy (LUS) pilot, looking at better land management in light of increasing pressure on the countryside, in April last year. And it was chosen as an example of pioneering initiatives as part of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.

Project manager and council ecology officer, Andy Tharme, said: “I’m delighted 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.”

The pilot is developing a flexible structure aimed at helping different land users make informed decisions, aided by a new mapping tool.

A council spokesperson said: “It is based on an ecosystems approach recognising the services nature provides society. Examples include clean water for drinking, woodland for carbon storage and flood management, soil for food production and wildflower grasslands for pollinating insects.”

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