Andrew Midgley
  Andrew Midgley

Andrew is the Projects and Research Manager at Scottish Land & Estates. He has been with Scottish Land & Estates since 2011 covering the farming, forestry, crofting and land use policy areas. Andrew holds a PhD from Edinburgh University which examined the cultures of nature conservation in contemporary Scotland and prior to joining Scottish Land & Estates he worked in the Scottish Agricultural College (now Scotland’s Rural College – SRUC) to help set up their Rural Policy Centre and he worked in Scottish Natural Heritage on the implementation of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.

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A new direction for Scottish land management

In Scotland today we stand at a crossroads in terms of rural policy. There are a number of decisions and debates that are coming together to make this a pivotal moment that will shape rural areas for decades to come. Whatever happens—whether we leave the EU, become a completely independent country or become an independent
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We need to think about the future

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Brexit is making my head hurt. There are so many permutations for where we might end up that it is easy to just give up trying to think about it and wait until there is a little more clarity. But Brexit is potentially so important to rural Scotland that we simply can’t wait until all
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Brexit does not roll back devolution … but there is a need for consistency across the UK

It is still very early days in the negotiations surrounding Brexit. There is so much that is unknown, especially relating to Scotland’s place in the EU and the UK, and so in some respects it is difficult to look very far ahead. Trying to discern the likely path forward is fraught with difficulty. Yet Scottish
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Modern Landownership in Scotland – The Future Challenges

On the 25th May this year we will hold our Spring Conference. This is a flagship event for us and following the recent passage of the Land Reform Act and the election of a new parliament it is a useful opportunity to reflect on the recent land reform process and to think about where we
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Where next for Scottish rural development policy?

Over the last few years I’ve been involved in discussions that government holds with stakeholders about the future of the CAP and the rural development programme (SRDP). These have been important, often very detailed discussions about the best way forward with big implications for rural Scotland. But these discussions go in cycles associated with European
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The Future of Scottish agriculture part 3: we need clarity on the direction of travel

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It’s mightily nerdy and almost embarrassing to say it, but I like strategies! As someone who works in the policy arena, strategies are something to get your teeth into and argue over. They can set the direction of travel and can be useful in terms of holding governments to account by pointing to inconsistencies in
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Towards a more strategic approach to land use?

Land use is right at the top of the political agenda at the moment and in addition to all the activity on land and farm tenancy reform the Scottish Government has been consulting on a revised Land Use Strategy. The original strategy was established under the terms of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, presumably
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CAP: 2013 reference period must be measure of last resort

Some have called for the Scottish Government to restrict the allocation of entitlements under the forthcoming CAP regime in relation to the area claimed in 2013. This suggestion is made because there is anecdotal evidence that some landowners are choosing not to let out seasonal grazing with the intention of making sure that they are
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CAP reform – estates and landowners in the firing line

As the shape of the forthcoming reform of the CAP becomes clearer, there are some fairly big issues that are causing many a great deal of concern. One of the main ones relates to the way that the move to area payments could result in those that own large areas of land, and who meet
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Pragmatism key to SRDP

The Scotland Rural Development Programme is really important. Injecting £1.326bn into rural economies is no small matter and we need to get it right. Although the budget is smaller than the headline budget last time round – and although we sit at the bottom of the rural development funding tables – it is a vital
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Oxford Farming Conference

My big picture of the 2014 Oxford Farming Conference

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In my job it is really important to have an eye for detail. Issues that appear minor can have significant implications for our members and so I spend a great deal of my time immersed in the detail of debates about agricultural holdings legislation or about the implementation of the CAP in Scotland. These debates
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