The Southern Uplands Partnership Newsletter – October 2013

Welcome to another edition of the The Southern Uplands Partnership Newsletter.

There has been a lot going on of late not least with the Wild Seasons Project which is designed to highlight the fantastic opportunities to experience nature based tourism in Dumfries and Galloway.

We’ve been working with businesses to run workshops and familiarisation trips to learn how they can best promote and benefit from associating their businesses with the wildlife watching experiences the region offers. The Wild Season website has had an extensive overhaul and we’ve launched the inaugural Wild Autumn Festival that coincides with the Scottish and English half term school holidays providing a wide variety of events and activities over a three week period from 12th October to 3rd November. To find out more go to the new website and book yourself on an event!
And if you can’t make it then take a look at what you are missing out on at

Wild Scotland Annual Conference 2013
“The Business of Adventure”

Keynote Speaker: Daniel Robb, Head of Travel at Google

The Wild Scotland Conference is the national conference for adventure and nature tourism professionals and offers excellent networking opportunities as well as great speakers and workshops. With the growth in nature-based tourism, come and find out more about the sector and meet other like-minded businesses.

In addition to our great keynote speakers, other presenters include

  • Stephen Leckie, Chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • John Mayhew, Scottish National Parks Strategy Project
  • Niall Benvie, nature writer and photographer

The afternoon will comprise of workshops where you can ask questions to the experts. The topics this year include ‘What you need to know about tour packages’, ‘The 2014 Day of Adventure’ and ‘Future Planning for Your Business’.

The Wild Scotland Conference is open to everyone and is always a useful networking event – so do come along and enjoy the day.

Save £20 with our early bird rates – but they finish at the end of September, so you’ll have to be quick.

For more information, go to

Superfast Broadband
As many of you will be aware the SUP ran a number of conferences earlier in the year looking at the issues surrounding Superfast Broadband in rural  communities. A key way of helping to demonstrating the need for this in your community is getting as many people as possible to fill in the online survey that South of Scotland Next Generation Broadband have designed at

Working the Tweed Project Room Opens
As part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre is hosting a Project Room by the Working the Tweed artists this October.

‘Working the Tweed’ is one of 14 art and nature projects supported by Creative Scotland during 2013 and the only one based in the Scottish Borders. The creative talents of Kate Foster, Jules Horne, Claire Pençak and James Wyness have come together to focus on the people that work on and around the River Tweed catchment.

Harestanes Centre Manager Michael Scott said, “It’s sometimes easy to forget just how much the Tweed and its rivers define our region and so it’s particularly appropriate that these four artists have chosen such a fundamental subject for their creative investigations.”

Assisted by environmental organisations Tweed Forum and Southern Uplands Partnership and supported by the Scottish Borders LEADER programme, Working the Tweed has been exploring some of the lesser known aspects of the Tweed and its tributaries; from re-meandering to fish-tagging. Information gathered though field visits and riverside meetings with scientists and river specialists has provided the material from which the project room work has been created , encompassing drawing, film, sound and textiles. The project room is about bringing a creative process and a different perspective to specialist knowledge. James Wyness says ‘The biggest surprise for me has been discovering the extent to which we have produced and created so many aspects of the so-called ‘natural’ environment.

‘Working the Tweed’ is open daily in the Harestanes Visitor Centre Gallery from 10am to 5pm from Wednesday 9 to Thursday 31 October.

Visit Scotland Tourism Event
Visit Scotland, in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership, will be hosting a tourism and event’s industry conference on 21 November 2013, from 10am – 3.30pm, at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel near St Boswells.

Come along and find out why ‘Tourism is everyone’s business’.

Attendees will have the opportunity to find out what the Scottish Borders Tourism Strategy means to businesses on the ground and find out how it all fits in with the national strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020, from Chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and Chief Executive of Creiff Hydro, Stephen Leckie.

Hear about the opportunities presented by 2014, when Scotland welcomes the world, get some advice and support from industry experts and find out the latest from the Borders Railway project.

This FREE event is open to all tourism and events businesses in the Scottish Borders.

Register now at

Bracken Control
Asulam will be available again for the bracken control season in 2014.

A Notice of Authorisation for the 2014 season has been agreed with the Chemicals Regulation Directorate, which is identical to the 2013 Notice apart from the slight difference in start and finish dates.
See the Bracken Control Newsletter published on 11 September for full details.


Joint Event with Tweed Forum and SBC and held at SBC Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells
Monday 4 November commencing 1800 (preceded by coffee at 1730)
All info at:

Dr Derek Robeson
Dr Andy Tharme
To be joined for Q&A/Panel Session by Bob McIntosh (Scottish Government) and another in process of confirmation

Hedge Laying Training Course – Pre booking Essential

Saturday 9th November 2013, Furlongs Farm, Jedburgh, Scottish Borders
Tweed Forum and SRUC are assisting in promoting a hedge laying training course on Saturday 9th November 2013 at Furlongs farm, Ancrum, Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders. Spaces are limited and will be offered on a first come first served basis. To book a place on this free course (just a donation to the trainer perhaps) please contact the land owner, Mr Jamie Scott directly by phoning 01835 830228 or e-mailing: with your name and contact details.

SYLLABUS 2013-2014

11th October 2013
Annual General Meeting
Retiring President’s address: Dr Francis Toolis
James Clerk Maxwell: The man who changed
everything and was then forgotten

25th October 2013
Patrick Laurie, The Heather Trust
Black grouse and the ever-changing uplands

8th November 2013
Revd. Dr Ann Shukman
Bishops and Covenanters: a Galloway

22nd November 2013
Dr Dermot Kennedy
The prehistoric peopling of Scotland: origins,
genes, cultures, environments

13th December 2013 James Williams Lecture
Professor Stuart K Monro OBE, DUniv, FRSE,
Scientific Director, Dynamic Earth
Life on the rocks

17th January 2014
Peter Norman, Biodiversity Officer, Dumfries and
Galloway Council
The origins, archaeology, history and wildlife
of the Lochar Moss

31st January 2014
Colin Mackenzie
Sagas and psychology: the mental world of
Old Icelandic literature

14th February 2014
Members’ Night

28th February 2014
Brian Morrell, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust,
The life and times of Sir John Richardson,
our forgotten local hero: doctor, explorer and

14th March 2014
Jim Johnson, former director of the Old Town
Committee for conservation and renewal and joint
author: New and Old Edinburgh: the enduring
legacy of Patrick Geddes
By leaves we live: some thoughts about the
continuing relevance of Patrick Geddes

12th April 2014
Warren Baillie, GUARD Archaeology Limited
Dunragit: the prehistoric heart of Galloway
Please note that this meeting will take place
at 2pm at St Ninian’s Church Hall, St Andrew
Street, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire

All meetings except that of the 12th April 2014 are held on Fridays at 7.30pm in the Cumberland Street Day Centre, Dumfries. (Beside Brooms Road car park). New members most welcome

Read some more of our articles

More News