South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume visited Buccleuch's Bowhill Estate on Monday 24 October to learn more about the latest activities taking place on the Borders landmark and discuss matters of rural policy likely to affect the estate's productivity.
The Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee Member, was given an insight into the workings of Bowhill lead by Estate Manager Andrew Brough and Tony Stevenson of Scottish Land & Estates. Discussions focused on rural heritage tourism, rural policing including wildlife crime, the forthcoming agricultural holdings legislation, CAP reform, new entrants and starter units. Other interested members of Scottish Land & Estates also took part.
Mr Hume commented:
"Living in the Scottish Borders means I am very familiar with the importance of strong farm and estate businesses in supporting fragile communities. It has been great to get to Bowhill and discuss face to face with representatives from Scottish Land & Estates the issues facing rural landowners and consider together how these are being dealt with by the Scottish Parliament. The visit has given me lots of food for thought at the 'coal face' of land stewardship which I will be taking back to Parliament with me. I am grateful to the estate for hosting this very useful gathering."
Andrew Brough commented:
"We're delighted that one of our regional MSPs took the time to visit Bowhill - it was definitely a mutually beneficial exercise. We feel it is important for elected representatives to learn about the opportunities that estates can offer, as well as for us as those who work on the land to get the latest updates from the Scottish Parliament through face to face engagement of this kind. Mr Hume has seen and heard firsthand how Bowhill contributes to the rural economy in the Scottish Borders. Everyone who attended Bowhill for his visit very much appreciated having the opportunity to discuss long term rural issues with Mr Hume which affect not only our prosperity but those of the rural communities around the estates we work in."