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Natural Capital Update: Varied voices on land use in Dumfries and Galloway

By Fergus Barne 

Last week I listened to the webinar Land Use Conversations: A Glenkens Future. It was an interesting event, hosted by the politician and environmentalist McNabb Laurie, which brought together different speakers sharing their knowledge on how land is currently discussed and a number of land use changes in the Dumfries and Galloway area.

Andy Tharme from South of Scotland Enterprise spoke first, addressing the issue from a natural capital approach, explaining the importance of balanced decision making through the process whilst always considering the natural assets, land uses and stakeholders.

Claire Pençak and Kate Foster from the art project Working the Tweed spoke next about how land use is not just science and have created a catchment map to reflect these hidden aspects. They noted that “the catchment map helped spark imagination and curiosity along with offering further possibilities of how people relate to rivers”.

Andrew Thin from Scottish Land Commission talked to us about the four main issues with land usages. These included, where does the power to decide lie, regulatory controls, incentives, consultation and engagement.

Finally, Ed Forrest from the environmental project Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere spoke about how they support sustainable development through economic, environmental and social means. It was noted that a key part of the biosphere is “to involve local communities and all interested stakeholders in planning and management”, therefore allowing a number of partnerships form.

Land use planning is important on a number of levels, both locally and on a wider scale. Ultimately, successful schemes can result in long term stability through environmental measures and contribute to economic and community growth.

• Natural Capital: Galbraith’s expert advisers guide our clients in realising value in all land uses – by assessing and measuring natural assets, furthering opportunities in biodiversity net gain, and ensuring stakeholders are rewarded fully for their investment in and contribution to delivering ecosystem services and net-zero outcomes.

To watch the Land Use Conversations Webinar click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH7USizmveo