Tractor in the outer Isles


Wildfires: Prevention Better than Cure

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Large, intense wildfires pose a threat to people, farms, forests, and conservation interests. They are dangerous and expensive to put out. We have had a run of bad fire seasons, with multiple damaging landscape scale fires in 2011, 2012 and 2013, especially in the spring.

Questions are being asked in the press and by politicians worried about the threat posed by such significant events and the strain this puts on the fire service, communities and budgets. There is a need to examine the situation and develop new responses.

Fire danger grows as fuel loads increase. There are significant changes in land use occurring, especially in the marginal farming areas that are seeing increasing fuel loads. We already get periods of warm weather and short term droughts that dry out fuels and the longer term forecasts of climate change are that these episodes will become more severe. The continuity of fuels across landscapes is also increasing as vegetation grows. The potential for large landscape scale high intensity fires is therefore increasing.

In some areas there are fewer people around to carry out Muirburn safely, increasing the risk of escapes. Access to the countryside has improved but this is also putting people closer to fuels. We are therefore need to become better prepared and do what we can to manage fuels better, and prevent ignitions that could lead to wildfires and reduce damage.

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SCF Training Manager Situation Vacant

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Funded by the Scottish Government’s SRDP Skills Development Scheme; Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Natural Heritage the SCF is seeking to recruit a p/t (0.6 FTE) self employed Training Project Manager to deliver its Crofters and Small Landholders Training Programme within the Highlands and Islands.

The project will be home-office based and line-managed by the SCF’s Chief Executive. He/she will report both to SCF Board and to the H&I Crofters & Small Landholders Training Panel through a quarterly report and occasional meetings. The project manager will be responsible for day-to-day management, and will report against detailed plans, budgets and key targets developed at the beginning of the project


SCF Calls on Ministers to Back Pairc Crofters

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Scottish Crofting Federation has called upon the Scottish Ministers to approve the contested community buyout of crofting land in Pairc, Lewis, without delay.

SCF Chair Eleanor Arthur said, "Crofting communities everywhere are looking to Pairc as a test case of Government commitment to land reform. Pairc Trust has worked tirelessly over many years and has passed every test asked of them. The community there must gain control of its land if it is to reverse decades of neglect and depopulation. The people of Pairc have shown they have the energy and unity of purpose to do so, and Ministers must now give them the backing they need. Land reform is the will of our Parliament. Ministers must make the means available to ensure that the will of Parliament is not frustrated."