LOCAL MP David Mundell has witnessed efforts underway on a hill farm in his constituency in working towards net-zero.
The Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale representative and former Scottish Secretary will be amongst delegates at the forthcoming COP26 UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow.
As part of his research, he joined Kate and Ed Rowell on their tenanted upland farm at Hundleshope, near Peebles, where they have been taking part in the ‘Farming for a Better Climate’ initiative.
The scheme, supported by the Scottish Government and involving organisations including Quality Meat Scotland and NFU Scotland, promotes ways of improving sustainability in agriculture.
Hundleshope, extending to 750 ha, includes sheep and a suckler cow enterprises and the couple have developed more sustainable — economically and environmentally — ways of feeding livestock, including their own high-quality two-cut silage, and caring for the land using fertiliser such as locally-sourced poultry manure.
They are involved in the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme in which they farm in a manner designed to protect and enhance water quality, wading birds and ecosystems.
Former working vet Kate, chairwoman of Quality Meat Scotland, and Ed took the MP on a farm-walk and outlined their vision of a more locally-focused agricultural model where farming with the environment can prove a sustainable business featuring less bought-in feed.
After thanking the couple, Mr Mundell commented that, like in a number sectors, agriculture faced significant change and challenges as part of the response to climate change.
He said: “Kate and Ed have a well thought out strategy and whilst acknowledging every farm is different, their progressive approach and insight could prove a useful route-map as the industry adapts in the years ahead.”