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What will the new tenancy regime mean for rural communities?

Rented housing on farms and estates has been the cornerstone of rural communities for hundreds of years. Over that time legislation and policy has gradually changed, but have we ever seen so much change in such a short period of time as we have over the last few years? On this Landlord Day we consider
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Let’s Take the Lead

The Scottish Partnership against Rural Crime (SPARC) has identified the worrying of livestock as one of the key issues impacting on rural / agricultural communities in Scotland. Incidents are highest during March, April and May, coinciding with the main lambing season, however another peak comes in November, coinciding with ewes being brought onto lower land
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Managed moorland where mountain hares fare best

Mountain hare populations move in cycles and so, it would appear, do calls for a ban on legitimate management of their numbers. In late July, a call was issued by OneKind asking the Scottish Government to ban any form of hare culling. And last week – just over two months on from that initial publicity
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Rural reflections on World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, and this once taboo subject is now becoming a normal topic of conversation, as it should. We know that one in four Scots face mental health problems at some point in their life and recent research by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has shown that isolation and stigma can be
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Sporting Rates – Much Ado About Nothing?

Amongst the bank statements which remain unopened, the Farmfoods flyers which go straight to recycling, valuation notices will be hitting door mats across the country. As the reintroduction occurred, there was enough theatrics about ‘taxing the lairds’ to be suitable for a Shakespearian play but now that the Bill has passed and valuations are known,
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Saving Scotland’s red squirrels through community action

It’s been a busy summer for Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels. Earlier this year it was announced that the project had been awarded a grant of £2.46 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, for an exciting new endeavour called ‘Developing Community Action’. Alongside work to control grey squirrel numbers in strategic areas, and slow the impact
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We need our governments to work together

I am worried. I am worried about the future of Scottish agriculture and land management. To be sure, there is a lot to be worried about with Brexit overshadowing everything; a huge amount rests on the outcome of the trade deals that are still to be negotiated. But, I have a more specific worry which
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Our review of the review…..

In 2016 the Barclay Review Group was tasked to conduct a review into the non-domestic rates system in Scotland, which it published in August 2017. This may not be the most thrilling blog topic but it is likely to impact all businesses in Scotland so is worth understanding. The Review presented 30 recommendations. Below I
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Financing Peatland Restoration

(Photo: An eroding peatland: an unnatural process which is typical of many damaged upland sites ©Emma Goodyer) Scotland is a major player when it comes to peatlands. Covering 22% of its land mass, the country has moved to the forefront in driving restoration of this precious habitat, becoming a global leader. Despite this forward thinking,
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A bridge over troubled waters?

The quality of private water supplies in Scotland have often been derided as secondary to that of public supplies. Of course most of us could highlight an exception or two to such a claim, but it is with this presumption in mind that the Scottish Government is pushing ahead with its latest consultation: the draft
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Gavin Mowat

Scottish Tourism week – so good they made it a month!
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Guest Blog

How much do we really know about rural youth?
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Katy Dickson

Reflections on the Rural Housing Conference
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Karen Ramoo

Let’s Take the Lead
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