SUP Newsletter – Winter 2012

Welcome to this, our latest newsletter.  We hope it finds you safe after the rain’s best efforts as well as prepared and relaxed ahead of the season’s festivities (which will be more than the author of this newsletter is!).

We have good news in being able to announce successful bids to Scottish Natural Heritage and LEADER Dumfries & Galloway, which have made funds available for a Project Officer to continue the development of our Wild Seasons initiative ( Click here for a job description and further information and please forward it to anyone you think may be suitable and interested in this exciting post.

We continue to work with partners in a wide ranging search for ever more elusive funds to continue the development of various projects, such as the excellent work of our Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere Project Officers, as well as for new projects we’re developing including a potential Dumfries and Galloway Coastal Trail, a nature photography competition for 2013, Year of Natural Scotland and for support to communities interested in communal approaches to energy and broadband provision.  Many of you will know how much of a challenge attracting funds is becoming.  With such a strong project delivery history to date we remain upbeat so watch this space, and if anyone has any ideas…….

We are in the process of updating our web-site, which we know has become somewhat ‘tired’ and out of date, and which doesn’t present either SUP, or the southern uplands as well as it might. We have a wealth of information on it, which we are determined to make more accessible.  Discussions about the web-site have brought into focus our determination to be a working resource for an active and engaged membership.  2013 will see us make new efforts to ensure that we are that, and that members and patrons get real value for the contributions they make.

Lastly, from us all at SUP have a wonderful festive season, and we look forward to working with you all in 2013.

Land Reform Review Group: Consultation Event

SUP continues its interest in land reform, and actively contributes to the debate through hosting discussion events and responding to consultations.  Here is an important opportunity for you to connect with the debate, and to contribute to a current consultation about a subject that offers exciting opportunities for us all.

Crichton Institute, Dumfries, 19:30 Thursday 10 January

Community Ownership and the Land Reform Act 2003: Does South Scotland need the Act?

The Land Reform Review Group (LRRG) has been set up by the Scottish Government to provide the Government with ‘innovative and radical proposals on land reform’.

The Group’s chair is Dr Alison Elliot. Its vice-chairs are Dr Sarah Skerratt and Professor Jim Hunter. Further details, including the Group’s remit, its Call for Evidence and a list of its twelve advisers, are available on the LRRG website at

LRRG is organising a number of events in different parts of Scotland to give its members and advisers a chance to meet with, and to hear directly from, people with experience of, or an interest in, land reform.

One of these events will be held in the Crichton Institute, Dumfries on Thursday 10th January.  Our aim is to explore the extent to which the 2003 Land Reform Act has been used (or not) in the South of Scotland.  Are there reasons for the difference in the Act’s application in different areas of Scotland?  Has it helped communities take charge of land and other assets – and, still more crucially, what legislative or other changes might be needed to make it easier for communities to acquire land and other assets in future?

What we hear at, and learn from, this event will help us fulfil the terms our remit which asks us to report on, among other things, how land reform will:

  • Enable more people in rural and urban Scotland to have a stake in the ownership, governance, management and use of land, which will lead to a greater diversity of land ownership, and ownership types, in Scotland;
  • Assist with the acquisition and management of land (and also land assets) by communities, to make stronger, more resilient and independent communities which have an even greater stake in their development.

You are warmly invited to join us at the Crichton Institute and we hope very much that you’ll be able to be there.  Starting at 19.30 we aim to have a question and answer session about the work of the Land Reform Review Group. This will be a public event which anyone is welcome to attend.

Please reply to: Dave Thomson at

Thank you for your help and your interest.

Galloway & South Ayrshire Biosphere

As we move into the New Year the Building Opportunities in the Biosphere team wish you all a Prosperous and Happy 2013.

This spring will see the culmination of work brought about by development officers over the past two years for the first “Building Opportunities in the Biosphere” venture.  Within the next few months we will be busy continuing to lay the foundations for future potential developments and working to bring communities together within the Biosphere.

Future Events

“Business and the Biosphere”

On Wednesday 6th March we will be holding a “Business and the Biosphere” event at the CatStrand in New Galloway supported by the Ayrshire and the Dumfries & Galloway Chambers of Commerce. This event will be an opportunity for businesses of all sizes and types to come together to share ideas and best practice for sustainable development and to hear case studies of sustainable business development already underway within the Biosphere.

“Sustainable Communities and Social Enterprise in the Biosphere”

Towards the end of March we will be helping to host visiting delegates from other International Biospheres along with the charity Assist Social Capital who have worked with Biospheres internationally to develop social-enterprise networks. This will give us an opportunity to learn from their experiences and to showcase our own unique Biosphere. The delegates are especially interested in learning about social-enterprise and sustainable development in the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. For this we are planning an open networking event “Sustainable Communities and Social Enterprise in the Biosphere” on Tuesday 26th March at the Lochside Hotel, New Cumnock. All are welcome, those involved or interested in developing sustainable communities, those involved in running social-enterprise groups and those who may be thinking of doing so as we bring together groups to share their knowledge and experiences of setting up and running their projects and organisations who give advice and support in the many areas related to developing sustainable communities and social-enterprise.

Further information relating to these events will be available soon on the “Events” page of our website:

Wild Spring Festival

Go wild in Dumfries & Galloway this spring as Scotland celebrates Year of Natural.  With almost 100 events showcasing the region’s amazing wildlife – Wild Spring Festival 2013 will be the biggest and best yet.

For the first time ever tourism businesses have the opportunity to get directly involved in the Wild Spring Festival.  If you are a tourism business and would like to develop a Wildlife Weekend Break in May to attract visitors please get in touch and we can help identify a wildlife partner.

Contact: Stacey Paul at

Employment Opportunity

Wild Seasons Project Officer

The Southern Uplands Partnership is looking for a Project Officer to continue the development of the Wild Seasons initiative (

The job is to work with a range of partners in developing and promoting the nature based ‘product’ of the Dumfries and Galloway region to tourism businesses and visitors alike.  This will include managing web-based developments, promotional work to local business and outside the region along with overseeing the delivery of access and conservation projects.

Experience of working with multi-sector partnerships and of tourism product development will be required.  Familiarity with the region would be an advantage as would some knowledge of wildlife and experience of conservation work.

Click here for a job description and further information.

Salary:  up to £26k

Starting date:  as soon after interview as possible.

Deadline for applications is midday, Friday 4th January

Interviews will be held in the Dumfries area on Wednesday 16th January

This is a full-time fixed term contract, ending 31st December 2013.

You will have your own transport and will be able to reclaim work mileage.

Letters of application should be sent to, including a copy of your CV and the names of two referees. The Southern Uplands Partnership is an equal opportunities employer and will openly consider all applications.

This project is being part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community through the Dumfries and Galloway Leader 2007 – 2013 Programme and is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, working with Scotland’s people to care for our natural heritage.

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