Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition has been learning about some of the cutting-edge climate change research being carried out at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
On a visit to the Barony Campus near Dumfries, Mairi McAllan MSP also found out more about the SRUC-led Digital Dairy Chain, as well as the organisation’s work with NatureScot to deliver a unique peatland restoration course.
Meeting with senior staff at SRUC, including Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive; Provost Jamie Newbold and Mary Thomson, Vice-Principal – Skills and Lifelong Learning, Ms McAllan saw first-hand SRUC’s investment in disruptive technology, including its N2 Unit.
Purchased with support from South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE), the N2 Unit uses revolutionary technology to practically eliminate methane and ammonia emissions from slurry production. Infrastructure is now in place, with the unit expected to be fitted later this year.
On a tour of the campus, Ms McAllan was shown how SRUC is blending its forestry, woodland and environmental expertise to optimise land management practices, while it is also undertaking proof of principle research into on-farm hydrogen generation utilising renewable sources of energy and waste water.
Ms McAllan said: “Tackling the twin crises of climate change and nature loss is the collective fight of our lifetime, and the lifetime of generations to come.
“It is crucial that we continue to develop new skills and find innovate solutions to help drive down carbon emissions and improve our resilience in the face of the global warming that we are already experiencing.
“The research and development being undertaken by staff and students at Scotland’s Rural College will be vital in helping our agriculture sector develop sustainable and nature positive farming practices. I look forward to seeing the impact that this important work will have as our farming sector helps lead us to a net zero future.”
Professor Powell said: “We were delighted to welcome Ms McAllan to Barony to find out more about the steps SRUC is taking to combat climate change. Through our world-class research and teaching, and through hugely innovative projects such as the Digital Dairy Chain, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of climate resistance and net-zero are at the very heart of our work at SRUC.”
Dr Martin Valenti, Director of Net Zero, Nature & Entrepreneurship at SoSE, said: “It was fantastic to have Ms McAllan come to the South of Scotland to see some of the innovative climate change research being carried out by SRUC.
“SRUC’s N2 Unit is such an innovative move for the agriculture sector, which we believe can be another step towards Scotland’s Just Transition to Net Zero, and creating a fairer, wealthier and greener economy in the South.”
To find out more about courses and research at SRUC, visit www.sruc.ac.uk