Environment concerns highlighted in visit

ECCLR committee members
ECCLR committee members

The Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee visited the south west last week for a two day ‘business planning’ meeting.

The committee – which is made up of members from various different political parties – met to visit local sites, and to discuss what matters it will take forward when Parliament reconvenes in Edinburgh this week.

South of Scotland MSPs Emma Harper and Finlay Carson – both sit on the ECCLR committee – and accompanied colleagues on visits to Applegirth Estate, and the Galloway Fisheries Trust. Other members visited the Carbon centre and resilience centre at Crichton campus.

Ms Harper commented: “I was very pleased when I was first informed of the committee’s intention to come to the south west this month. It is a great opportunity for my committee colleagues to get to know the area and the issues facing it, while we discuss our work schedule for the coming months.

“Today’s visits have been helpful and informative. I met a diverse range of agricultural, residential, sporting and commercial tenants on Applegirth estate. Former dairy units are now mixed arable and livestock units, and there is also significant commercial forestry management. We visited Poldean farm as part of Applegirth – which I thought was an excellent example of diverse tenant farming – where they are rearing beef and sheep, and using biomass to heat the farmhouse.

“In the afternoon I attended a briefing on the Galloway Fisheries Trust – which aims to is to protect and enhance biodiversity of fish species, living in the freshwaters across Galloway – including the rivers Luce, Bladnoch, Cree, Water of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire Dee and Urr.

“As always, I have very much enjoyed getting out and meeting new people and organisations across the region – and hope to maintain the new connections I have made with constituents in the past couple of days.

“I am looking forward to Parliament re-convening in Edinburgh this week – and working hard on the ECCLR committee to ensure that this Parliamentary session sees solid and competent legislation passed which will be of real relevance to the area I represent.”

Finlay Carson MSP added: “It is great that the ECCLR committee is meeting in Dumfries and Galloway. This allows us to present Dumfries and Galloway and allow local environmental concerns to be highlighted. I look forward to working with everyone on a cross party basis.”