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Welcome to our summer e-news round up, and many thanks to all those who have contributed to it.

If you haven’t visited the SUP website recently, please do, it has had a complete make-over and is now easier to navigate. You will also find a brief project update section on the site to make it easy to find out what the Partnership is working on at the moment. As ever, feedback on the website and contributions to the newsletter are welcome. Best wishes for a good summer!

In this issue...

Register now for In the Footsteps of the Reivers Walking Festival, 5th - 13th September
Launch of Dumfries & Galloway Food Cooperative and abattoir plans
New Appointment at The Heather Trust
Red Squirrels in South Scotland project update
New Moffat Network
New Tourism Innovation Group guides
Hawick to get its own currency
Green List announced!
Orchards & Wild Harvest Project
2009 Ian McAllister Bursary Launched
New Cumnock Castle Mystery
How many cards to hold?
Training Opportunities

Register now for In the Footsteps of the Reivers Walking Festival, 5th - 13th September
In the Footsteps of the Reivers Walking Festival, 5th - 13th September 2009The Scottish Borders Walking Festival, In the Footsteps of the Reivers, boasts over 60 walks from a two mile stroll on the banks of the River Teviot to a 14 mile hike from a 16th century castle. The festival is part of Homecoming Scotland and celebrates the colourful history of the Border Reivers. In addition to the nine day festival of themed walks there is a full programme of social events in the stunning scenery surrounding Jedburgh, Hawick, Denholm, Newcastleton and the Cheviot Hills plus opportunities to search the archives at the Heritage Hub in Hawick and a Gala Dinner at Ferniehirst Castle. To ensure that you receive information on the programme and are able to book the walks of your choice visit The Footsteps of the Reivers project seeks to work with local businesses to attract additional walking visitors. The festival, part funded by Leader and coordinated by SUP, will provide a great programme of event for locals and visitors alike.

Launch of Dumfries & Galloway Food Cooperative and local abattoir plans
A group of Dumfries and Galloway farmers and food producers have joined to launch a new legally constituted cooperative business venture which aims to provide the regions livestock farmers and butchers with a modern abattoir and processing facility.

Vice chair Maggie Gordon of Barfil Farm at Crocketford explains, “We are some way off making a decision on a site, what we have said is we want to find a site within a 15 mile radius of Castle Douglas and within easy striking distance of the A75. Communication is very important from a variety of points, including animal welfare, and that is the main east-west road through the region”.

SUP members and supporters will know that the abattoir issue is one that we have been following since our Local Food – Local Plates project in 2005. It is great news that this initiative is underway, we hope to carry more news in due course. In the meantime, to read more click here. A Dumfries & Galloway Food Cooperative website is due to go live soon.

Dr Marion ThomsonNew Appointment at The Heather Trust
The Heather Trust recently announced the appointment of Dr Marion Thomson as the Development Director. Marion has a PhD in Heather Management and an MSc in Environmental Resources. She will combine her new post with managing her farm near Dalbeattie. We at SUP very much look forward to working with Marion. Click here to read the Heather Trust news item in full. (opens as a PDF)

Red Squirrels in South ScotlandRed Squirrels in South Scotland project update
Phase Four of the Red Squirrels in South Scotland project began last August and has been focussing on the containment of the deadly Squirrelpox virus and the control of the introduced grey squirrel. The Squirrelpox virus is carried by grey squirrels entering Scotland from England, but while it is harmless to greys it is lethal to our native red squirrels. To read more, click here.

Also on squirrels
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Brian Gibson and Ian “Rusty” Kerr for all the fantastic work they did on squirrel pox monitoring. Brian and Rusty have been vital to the project, their skills and commitment will now contribute to the conservation work undertaken by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

New Moffat Network
People in the Moffat area now have a great new way to keep in touch, with the launch of the Moffat Online website. Moffat Online ( is a social networking site that has been developed as part of the Moffat-based Lets Live Local project, the website for which ( also goes live on 8 May 2009. – contributor Jane Gray, Moffat. For more click here.

Moffat Online

New Tourism Innovation Group guides
The Tourism Innovation Group (TiG) has produced a series of Top Tips guidance materials. The guides have been written for industry by the industry and provide easy to follow hints and tips on topical issues such as Web 2.0 and sustainable tourism. The following guides are now available: How to become a sustainable tourism business, How to develop a great website, How to make the most of WEB2.0 for your business, How to maximize the economic benefit from events in your area. For more information email

Hawick to get its own currency
The Hawick Pound is to be piloted in the autumn for four months and will be redeemable for goods or services with local traders in a bid to encourage Teries to shop locally. Five thousand notes, in £1 denominations, are to be issued by local printers Richardson & Son as part of the initiative by the Greener Hawick group. Click here to read more.

Green List announced! The Scottish Green List
The Scottish Sustainable Development Forum launched The Scottish Green List on the 22nd April. The aim of the list is to create a thriving network of sustainability leaders in Scotland, to recognise their efforts and to be an inspiration to everyone to do more. Many congratulations to the following on being included in the list! To see the full list, click here.

Orchards & Wild Harvest Project

The ‘Orchards and Wild Harvest Project’ was launched on Friday 27th March by the planting of fruit trees at Kirkcudbright Academy and at Castle Douglas ‘Activity and Resource Centre’. The orchard project managed by South West Community Woodlands Trust and working closely with the Crichton Carbon Centre wants to facilitate the planting of a minimum of 1000 fruit and nut trees in Dumfries and Galloway over the next two years. Contributor Jools Cox. Click here to read more. Click here for the flier. (opens as a PDF)

Orchards and Wild Harvest Project

Members of the Kirkcudbright Academy Rural Crafts group planted an apple, cherry, plum and pear tree as well as a blueberry bush in their school garden

2009 Ian McAllister Bursary Launched
Applications are now invited for the Ian McAllister Bursary, a joint initiative between Loreburn, the Dumfries & Galloway housing association, Nithsdale Council of Voluntary Service (NCVS) and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA). Ian McAllister MBE spent much of his life working to improve the lives of people in Dumfries & Galloway and was a tireless campaigner for the voluntary sector. The bursary is an award for young people in Dumfries & Galloway aged 16-24 who have made a significant contribution to the voluntary sector, or who have helped improve the lives of their communities through exceptional talents. An award of £250 will be made annually in each of these two categories. The closing date for applications is 29 May 2009. If you are interested please contact Clare Murray for more information or to request an application pack. Telephone 01387 259700 or email

New Cumnock Castle Mystery
Every year more and more people get off the Glasgow to Carlisle train at New Cumnock station, making their way to SWT’s “Knockshinnoch Lagoons” and to the Uplands by way of Glen Afton. Few notice the road sign – CASTLE – as they walk along the main street of the town. There is no sign of any such structure in the area, but there was, and once you realise that every year more weight is added to the theory that this was William Wallace territory you may become interested in the origin of the name. Contributor Geoff Crolley. Read more about the castle mystery here.

How many cards to hold?
‘How many cards to hold? – The benefits of community asset management and ownership’ – an essay by Petra Vergunst. Since 2007 Petra has worked as a lecturer in rural development for the Scottish Agricultural College, as a research fellow for the Institute for Rural Research (University of Aberdeen), and as a tutor for the Homes and Community Academy in England. Petra has visited community groups across Scotland to learn from their experiences of sustainable community development. To read the essay click here .

Holyrood 350 Event
4th June. Join representatives from Transition Towns, Going Carbon Neutral and other climate change active communities to meet your MSPs. Click here for more. (opens as a PDF)

Transition Scotland regional gathering for southern Scotland
13th June at Hawick Rugby Club, 10.00-18.00

Southern Uplands Partnership AGM
24th June, Heart of Hawick, 2.00.

Dumfries Women’s Run 4 Health event
28th June, click here for details and entry form.
(opens as a PDF)

The Future is Older – international conference at Crichton Campus, Dumfries
8th-9th September, click here for details. (opens as a PDF)

Training Opportunities
The Soil Association Adapting to Climate Change Skills Programme
Adapting to Climate Change is a three year skills development programme which will prepare agricultural businesses for the impacts, opportunities and risks that climate change brings. The programme aims to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge to plan for and adapt to climate change, improve the sustainability of their businesses, and reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by agricultural activities. The project supports the aims and objectives of the Scottish Rural Development Plan 2007-2013, and will contribute to its environmental, economic and social targets. South of Scotland dates for Soil, Muck & Money, a one day element of the programme are 8th June Oakwood Mill, Selkirk, 16th September Rainton, Castle Douglas. Click here to find out more. (opens as a PDF)

Communities on the Edge Conference Reportclick here. (opens as a PDF)

New Dumfries & Galloway Local Biodiversity Action Plan click here. (opens as a PDF)

Sulwath Connections Community Biodiversity Action Bulletin click here. (opens as a PDF)

Previous Newsletters:

January 2009 Newsletter
Autumn 2008 Newsletter
Summer 2008 Newsletter
Spring 2008 Newsletter
December 2007 Newsletter
July 2007 Newsletter


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