Emma Harper MSP has welcomed the conclusions from a report published this week by SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College – on future land use in the South of Scotland.
The report follows a workshop hosted in June by SRUC in Castle Douglas Town Hall involving a number of key stakeholder organisations in the discussions, including NFU Scotland, Galloway National Park Association, Dumfries and Galloway Council and others.
The key issues under discussion were participants’ visions for future land use planning in South Scotland, Forestry and Woodland, and Rural Diversification.
Commenting Emma Harper MSP said:
“I read with great interest the presentations and recommendations made by SRUC and other stakeholders at June’s workshop at Castle Douglas on future land use in the South of Scotland.
“The South West is often referred to as the forgotten part of Scotland but we have so much to offer so I was delighted that one of the key recommendations was to encourage businesses to develop new ‘outside the box’ projects which would better sell the South of Scotland area as a real destination.
“I’m passionate about bringing more people to visit and live in Dumfries & Galloway and the south of Scotland so I commend the work undertaken by SRUC to bring stakeholders together at this workshop and look at ways to bring more people to the south west.”
Davy McCracken, Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre and one of the speakers at the meeting, said:
“The purpose of the meeting was simply to help kick-start discussions around the key land use issues that need to be taken into account when considering future developments in southern Scotland.
“Encouraging on-farm and rural business diversification to provide more accommodation and especially activities of interest to tourists will be key to getting more people to visit the south of Scotland. Organising more events such as the Stranraer Oyster Festival would also provide opportunities to showcase the high quality food and drink produced in the area.”