NFU gauges support for cooperation

Nigel Miller NFU
Nigel Miller NFU

NFU Scotland has contacted key Scottish politicians this week, asking them to consider a new forum to debate environmental matters that have implications for farmers.

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

Recent joint agreements between NFU Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage on projects involving Scottish Government and local farmers 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 can discuss current and future challenges and find solutions.

“Such collaboration can optimise land management.

“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.