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Consultant adds her voice to rural protest today


By David G Scott

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An agricultural consultant who works across Caithness and the far north has lent her support to today's online Rural Workers’ Protest 2021.

Land and river workers are participating in the protest to demand "a new politics" which takes greater account of their contribution to Scotland. The Rural Workers’ Protest 2021, #RWP21, replaces a physical mass gathering at Holyrood postponed due to Covid-19.

Agricultural consultant Karin McGivern says that careful land management of Caithness' 184,000 hectares assists the local environment and has led to greater biodiversity – key issues being discussed during today's+ protest.

Karin said: "It’s fantastic to see the fruits of the labours of all of the rural community especially land managers and farmers/crofters that are actively managing their land to assist nature."

Agricultural consultant Karin McGivern at an event in Thrumster before the pandemic. Picture: DGS
Agricultural consultant Karin McGivern at an event in Thrumster before the pandemic. Picture: DGS

She said she has been encouraging clients to formalise what they have been doing "into environmental schemes" that are beneficial for the whole area.

"This management not only helps to protect the sites of Special Scientific Interest but it helps to protect vulnerable species of plants, insect, birds and mammals. It also assists as part of the Scottish Government's 2020 challenge for Scotland's biodiversity."

She claims that the outcome of this is to "provide and improve" natural resources to contribute to stronger sustainable economic growth in Scotland and "increase natural capital" to pass on to the next generation.

"The recent report regarding the great yellow bumblebee being found in Caithness adds to the anecdotal evidence that wildlife diversity and populations are on the increase in the area and that the work being done in the area is having a positive effect.

A rare great yellow bumblebee nest was recently discovered in Caithness. Picture: Pieter Haringsma
A rare great yellow bumblebee nest was recently discovered in Caithness. Picture: Pieter Haringsma

"There is often a lot of negative publicity around agriculture and the environmental impact of it. With Caithness and Sutherland having over 1400km2 of peatland and the majority of this being managed under the Peatland Action programme means that there is more carbon capture in the soils in Caithness – and Scotland – than in all of the woodlands in the country."

Karin added: "Caithness is also very proactive in providing space for public access. The right to roam in Scotland is often misunderstood and can cause friction between walkers and land managers or farmers. But the installation of public access features including woodland and farmland walks, benches and information panels means that walkers can gain access to the countryside whilst crops, livestock and vulnerable habitats are protected."

Lyth man supports Friday's rural protest


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