Southern Uplands Partnership - living land, living community
Home | About us | Newsletters | Publications | Membership | Our Patrons | Contact us

SUP Autumn Newsletter 2016

Golden EagleGolden Eagles in South Scotland
SUP is working with a number of partners to collect views on the proposal to “reinforce” the population of Golden Eagles in the South of Scotland. The project has Heritage Lottery Fund Support.
We are holding a number of “drop ins” and public evening meetings:

  • 26 September Burgh Hall, Peebles
  • 27 September Victoria Hall, Selkirk
  • 29 September Town Hall, Moffat

Drop-ins from 15:00 - 18:00 Main meetings 19:00 -21:00
There will be a short presentation by guest speakers followed by question and answer sessions
Find out more and share your opinion at:

Where’s Wildlife in Ayrshire
We are delighted to report that we have appointed Aisling Gribbin as the new Where's Wildlife in Ayrshire project officer. She has been working with an environmental consultancy in Angus, and previously volunteered with Keep Northern Ireland Tidy and RSPB. She is a graduate in Environmental Science from St Andrews will be starting with us on 3rd October. She will be working out of the Ayrshire Rivers Trust offices at Auchencruive just outside Ayr.

If you would like to get involved in Where’s Wildlife in Ayrshire then please drop her a line

Wild Film Festival
We can also report that Sid Ambrose has taken on the Event Manager role for the Wild Film Festival.  As I'm sure many of you will be aware Sid has a background in events management that goes back to Wickerman and more recently arts events in Dumfries. He's already got off to a flying start with a Marketing brief being circulated for tender, meeting with the youth groups and making contact with Wild Screen. As we progress into October and November he’ll be looking for high quality films from southern Scotland that showcase both our wildlife and wild places so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere
Galloway and Southern Ayrshire BiosphereThe Biosphere is gearing up to play host to the UK and Eire network of Biospheres in October. With a growing interest in biospheres nationally its an opportunity to show off what we have in SW Scotland but also to network and learn from each other. This will be the largest gathering of UK Biospheres to have taken place.

As a test run we recently took out our GSABiosphere Partnership board up to Cairnsmore National Nature Reserve one of our core areas to find out about how we could work more closely with SNH in demonstrating to visitors and local people how positive land management  at the core can benefit all of us. Despite the dreich weather those that attended really appreciated the opportunity to see such an accessible part of the core area for themselves.

Renewable Energy Opportunity Mapping
Last year we managed to get a grant from Local Energy Scotland (and some funds from Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company and Community Council) to contract Sgurr Energy to map the opportunities for renewable energy in the two valleys. This work has now been completed and the maps have been circulated to the communities and businesses on the valleys - They are now available on our Publications page.

The community are now looking at whether they can go one step further and take over the grid in the valleys so that they can generate their own power (using the maps to identify where the best prospects are. At present, according to Scottish Power Energy Network, the grid is at capacity, meaning that no additional power can be fed into it.

The Scottish Rural Parliament
There are still places left to attend the Scottish Rural Parliament this year, to be held 6th - 8th October in Brechin, Angus. The event is free for individuals and people from community organisations to attend. Participants can choose to attend Thu, Fri & Sat or just Saturday. You do not need to book for Saturday. There is support available for travel and accommodation costs, childcare available, and we hope it will be a fun and stimulating event!

To register to attend, please go to:

Manifesto for Rural Scotland is launched The Manifesto for rural Scotland is now live! The result of many, many contributions from all across rural Scotland, in person and on-line, we hope you find the Manifesto to be both interesting and stimulating. The full draft Manifesto is now available to view by going to:

The draft Manifesto will be formally agreed at the Rural Parliament in Brechin. At the event they will be identifying how we can all take forward the items within the Manifesto. The event is open to all and the key themes for the event are those within the Manifesto:

  • Arts & culture
  • Business
  • Broadband and mobile phone signal
  • Communities and civil society
  • Democracy and governance
  • Depopulation and demographic changes
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Food
  • Health, Social Services and Wellbeing
  • Housing and Planning
  • Land
  • Poverty & inequalities
  • Rural policing
  • Tourism
  • Town & village regeneration
  • Transport
  • Young people.

Borders Tree Planting Grant Scheme:

Eligibility and amount of grant available:

Grants of up to £1,000 may be available for communities and land managers in the Scottish Borders, who are able to plant small copses of native trees up to 0.25ha in size. In addition, individual broadleaved trees, hedgerow trees, parkland trees, fruit trees and tree lines, are all eligible. Hedges however are not eligible. The scheme receives support from Forestry Commission Scotland, Woodland Trust Scotland, Fallago Environment Fund and Scottish Borders Council.

Application forms & further advice:
Information and advice can be obtained from Borders Tree Planting Grant scheme administrators, Tweed Forum and Borders Forest Trust. Application forms can be downloaded from their websites.

For more information call 01896 849723.

Solway Firth Partnership / Solway Coast AONB Joint Conference 2016  - Bookings Now Open

Friday 25 November, Smiths Hotel at Gretna Green

Solway Firth Partnership and the Solway Coast AONB have managed to secure top presenter, Miranda Krestovnikoff, as the guest speaker for the final address of this years joint conference. 
Miranda is a British radio and television presenter specialising in natural history and archaeological programmes. She is well known for presenting the natural history section in Coast and is a regular presenter on The One Show.  Miranda is also an accomplished musician, as well as a qualified scuba diver.

This year's conference will feature fascinating talks and Coastal Conversations including:-
•    The Marine Planning Challenge Game, Put Yourself in their Shoes! 
•    Energy, the Solway’s Hidden Potential
•    Marine Biodiversity, the future of our seas 

and much more…..

The conference is free and includes a light buffet lunch but places are limited so booking is essential.  

Find more information here or book your place by emailing or call 01387 702161 / 702362 with name / contact details by 15 November.  

The Borders Heritage Festival

The Borders Heritage Festival 2016 runs through to the end of September.

There is a lot going on. See:


Designed by Creative Station