Wednesday May 6, 2020

Recognising excellence in conservation science

The Nature of Scotland Awards, co-sponsored by the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage, celebrates excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in nature conservation.  Following its successful launch in 2019, SNH have  announced that the Awards will continue to feature a Conservation Science category in 2020.
This year the achievements of Early Career Researchers whose work informs nature conservation in Scotland will be celebrated.
 Applications to the new Conservation Science Award will be accepted until the 1st June.  Entries are welcome  for nominations on behalf of individual early career scientists whose research has made or shows exceptional promise of making an important contribution to nature conservation in Scotland.
Find out more about the awards and download the application from the Nature of Scotland Awards website:


Thursday September 5, 2019

SCRR Mini-Conference in November - Rural science for public good: sharing our best ideas

November 13th 2019, 12 noon-3pm, An Lochran, Inverness

Across the breadth of Scotland, there are many researchers examining different aspects of “rural” from multiple perspectives: geography, geology, sociology, ecology, animal health, anthropology - from the very micro through to the macro.

In mid-November, you’ll have the opportunity to share your own research, and hear about others’ work, from across the nooks and crannies of rural Scotland - from many different research institutes, and from people we didn’t even know existed within Scotland’s rich community of researchers!

This year, we’re focusing on Early Career Researchers. This will be a poster-based mini- conference, where you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with others in the research community and with people from other organisations including charities, development organisations, colleges and local government. The focus will be on networking as equals, sharing ideas and fostering new connections.

There will be a Prize for the best poster, a Certificate of Participation for those who take part, plus the opportunity to gain a Scholar Award by helping out beforehand and at the mini-Conference itself. We’ll also be promoting your research posters via social media, and helping you to promote your work too.

Places are limited, so you’ll need to apply via a very short application form, telling us your research area, how you have researched (or are researching) it, what you’ve found or expect to find, and ultimately why your work matters. The deadline for applications is 5pm Thursday 3rd October and we’ll let you know if your application has been successful by Friday 11th October.

We have a small budget to assist with travel costs for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come. Please let us know, on your application form, whether you’re likely to need this, and give us an estimate of what your expenses might be.

The Guest Speaker at the Conference will be Professor Sarah Skerratt (@sarah_skerratt), who’s Director of Policy Engagement at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). Sarah has a passion for ensuring research evidence impacts on policy and on people’s livelihoods in rural areas. She’s also Scientific Director of SCRR and is really keen to find out more about the great rural research that’s taking place across Scotland.

For an Application Form, please email:


Friday February 1, 2019

2019 Bryan Nelson Memorial Lecture, Tuesday 19 March

The Scottish Seabird Centre will host the 2019 Bryan Nelson Memorial Lecture which this year will take place on the 19th March at 7.30pm at Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart Campus. The lecture will be given by Professor Colin Moffat, Chief Scientific Advisor Marine for the Scottish Government, who will talk about the challenges of balancing human pressures with the need to maintain fully functioning seas and why appropriate management of human activities is essential for the conservation of all species above and below the waves.

If you are interested, there is more information  and you can buy tickets on the Scottish Seabird Centre’s website.


Monday October 1, 2018

Coastal Forum Workshop, Friday 2 November 2018

One-day workshop at the Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow as part of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) Annual Science Meeting

This is a one-day workshop, supported by the Scottish Consortium for Rural Research, to bring rural and marine experts together to explore synergies in the coastal zone. Presentations on coastal processes, management and the future will highlight ongoing efforts, while in the afternoon, there will be a discussion about setting up a Scottish Coastal Observatory, as a means to provide and exchange information on environmental change.

Register now at the link below.

Coastal Workshop agenda (PDF, 59KB)


Saturday September 1, 2018

New Scientific Director for the Scottish Consortium for Rural Research

The Scottish Consortium for Rural Research (SCRR) is pleased to announce that its new Scientific Director will be Professor Sarah Skerratt. Professor Skerratt is SRUC's Director of Policy Engagement and Director of the Rural Policy Centre, which provides the Secretariat to the Cross-Party Group on Rural Policy. Sarah will take up office on November 14, 2018 following the Annual General Meeting of the SCRR. This is a part-time appointment and Professor Skerratt will continue her work within SRUC.

The current Scientific Director, Professor Stuart Monro OBE FRSE, is retiring, having served the SCRR for 10 years in his post.

After completing a BSc (Hons) in Geography and Geology and an MA (Econ) in Development Studies at the University of Manchester in 1987, Sarah then went on to gain a PhD in Social Anthropology and Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh in 1995. Following a number of Research Fellow and Lecturer posts in various UK Universities, Sarah joined SRUC in 2006 as a Team Leader in Rural Society Research.

Sarah was appointed as the Principal Investigator for the Scottish Government-commissioned five-year research programme: 'Governance and Decision-Making for Rural Community Empowerment' (2011-2016). In April 2016, Professor Skerratt was invited on secondment to Audit Scotland, to 'rural-proof' their audit work, and is retained as their rural adviser. In 2017, Professor Skerratt was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in recognition of her work on rural policy and poverty. In 2018, in recognition of her strategic thinking and vision, Sarah was made a Director and member of SRUC's Executive Leadership Team.

Sarah is regarded as an exceptional communicator, being regularly invited to work both nationally and internationally at senior levels with Governments and Parliaments, universities, private, public and third sector and development agencies. Sarah was on the Board of Directors for SRUC (2015-2018), Rural Housing Scotland (2014-2018) and Scotland's Regeneration Forum (2015-2018) - being retained as policy adviser for RHS and SURF.

Professor Skerratt describes herself as passionate about connecting people, knowledge, experience, perspectives and methodologies to generate an enhanced understanding of rural issues ñ across geographies and disciplines. This approach has underpinned her research, as has her commitment to knowledge exchange and transdisciplinary research.

Chair of the SCRR Executive Committee, Professor Steven Yearley FRSE, paid tribute to the work of Stuart Monro who has served the Consortium with charm and keen insight; he extended an enthusiastic welcome to Professor Skerratt who will lead the professional orientation of the Consortium into the policy and social sciences.

Professor Sarah Skerratt with Professor Jonathan Seckl, chair of the main board of SCRR

Prof Skerratt with Professor Stuart Monro. the current Scientific Director of SCRR, and Professor Willie Donachie, Secretary/Treasurer of SCRR

News · SCRR

Wednesday September 6, 2017

SCRR/Scotia essay competition is launched

The Scottish Consortium for Rural Research and the Scotia Agricultural Club are pleased to announce the launch of a new competition for senior school pupils in Scotland: The Scottish Rural Futures Essay Prize

SCRR and Scotia both aim to stimulate interest in and debate about issues that affect the current state and future of Scotland’s rural sector, its environment and communities.

Open to pupils in their last two years of senior school, the competition carries a prize of £150 for the winning essayist and £150 for their school.

The topic for the inaugural competition, with a closing date of January 31, 2018, is: “What are the implications of ‘Brexit’ for rural communities in Scotland?”

Further details can be found by downloading the Competition Details (PDF, 96KB) or through the following web link...

News · SCRR

Saturday December 6, 2014

Scottish Land Reform Consultation

This Consultation on the future of Land Reform in Scotland seeks views on a range of measures intended to further land reform in Scotland. The Scottish Government is seeking your views on a proposed Land Rights and Responsibilities Policy to help guide the development of public policy on the nature and character of land rights in Scotland and on a range of proposals for a Land Reform Bill.

Scottish Land Reform Consultation

News · SCRR

Thursday December 4, 2014

Superfast subsea links ready to revolutionise way of life on Scottish Islands

Digital Scotland has completed a subsea telecoms project to bring faster fibre broadband another step closer for many of Scotland’s most remote communities. The Superfast Broadband project has successfully installed 250 miles of fibre optic cabling across 20 Scottish seabed crossings. It’s been hailed as the most complex sub-sea engineering challenge ever undertaken by BT in UK waters.

Forty island and mainland locations, stretching from Orkney to Kintyre, are now linked to provide for a massive fibre network being built to bring high-speed fibre broadband to 84 per cent of the Highlands and Islands by the end of 2016. The longest subsea route is nearly 50 miles long under the Minch from Ullapool to Stornoway, with the shortest covers the one mile leap between Ardgour on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and Onich, south of Fort William.

The £26.9 million subsea project is part of the £146 million Digital Highlands and Islands rollout which will make faster, more reliable services available to more than 150,000 premises across the region’s mainly rural communities for the first time. During the life of the project, BT and HIE will also be assessing new and emerging technology options through a £2.5 million Innovation Fund, with a view to extending faster broadband to the most remote places in the Highlands and Islands.

Superfast subsea internet links to Scottish Islands

News · SCRR

Saturday November 1, 2014

IPCC Climate Change 2014 - Synthesis Report

The IPCC Synthesis Report has been published and is based on the reports of the three Working Groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including relevant Special Reports. It provides an integrated view of climate change as the final part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).
The structure of the report addresses the following topics: Observed changes and their causes; Future climate change, risks and impacts; Future pathways for adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development; Adaptation and mitigation.
In the Synthesis Report, the certainty in key assessment findings is communicated as in the Working Group Reports and Special Reports. It is based on the author teams’ evaluations of underlying scientific understanding and is expressed as a qualitative level of confidence (from very low to very high) and, when possible, probabilistically with a quantified likelihood (from exceptionally unlikely to virtually certain). Where appropriate, findings are also formulated as statements of fact without using uncertainty qualifiers.

IPCC Climate Change 2014 - Synthesis Report

News · Institute of Aquaculture

Saturday June 21, 2014

Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre Officially Launched

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) will bring together industry and research to provide innovative solutions with the aim of growing the already substantial contribution aquaculture makes to the Scottish economy. The SAIC will be headquartered at the University of Stirling and will have a local delivery centre in the Western Highlands. Public sector funding (over £11m matched by Indistry) will be channelled through the University of Stirling acting as Administrative Hub on behalf of the SAIC. The SAIC will focus on areas such as fish and shellfish health and welfare; feeding, quality and nutrition; breeding and stock improvement and engineering to contribute towards increased production of clean, safe and sustainable food.
Launching the new centre at the Royal Highland Show the Environment and Climate change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The aquaculture industry is increasingly important to the Scottish economy supporting employment in many fragile rural communities. If the industry’s 2020 sustainable production targets are met this could mean a turn-over value of £2 billion to the Scottish economy every year and the on-going support of 10,000 jobs.

An Assessment of the Benefits to Scotland of Aquaculture report

News · SCRR

Monday June 16, 2014

Scotland's Environment Web

SEPA and partner agencies have just launched a new web portal. This gives access to news, data on the State of Scotland's Environment, Citizen Science Toolkit and more. Sign up for occasional newsletters at the foot of its home page.

Scotland's Environment Web

News · SCRR

Saturday June 7, 2014

The Land of Scotland and the Common Good

The report of the Land Reform Review Group has recently been published. Within its 263 pages there is an analysis of 'how land reform will [a] 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; [b] 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; [c] generate support, promote, and deliver new relationships between land, people, economy and environment in Scotland.' In Section 34, pages 240-249, the report makes 62 recommendations: on the ownership of land; land development and housing; land ownership and use; agricultural land holdings; common property resources; and the way forward.

The report of the Land Reform Review Group

News · James Hutton Institute

Friday May 30, 2014

Scottish Research Institutes' Annual Lecture: The Politics of epidemiology: the case of bovine TB

Professor Ian Lamont Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, presented this year's Scottish Research Institutes' Annual Lecture at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He acknowledged that infectious disease is bad news for everybody. Fast-moving diseases like foot and mouth disease leave little time for politics to take a grip but slow moving diseases such as ash dieback or bovine tuberculosis (bTB) are a different matter. In these cases the social and economic implications result in arguments about who should carry the costs. There is a need for better methods to deal with this problem.
He illustrated this with the case of bTB management in the UK. This is a disease that is currently uncontrolled and is having an increasing economic and social impact. Interventions to control the disease are limited but we need to proceed toward a solution that maximises their benefits even in the face of criticism based upon partial understanding of the objective. This is particularly apparent with the social focus upon badgers as the cause/solution, and the tendency even among experts to settle on single-factor causation, when the real epidemiological picture is much more complex.

News · SCRR

Sunday April 13, 2014

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - Mitigation of Climate Change

SPM.4.2.4 Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) [extracts]
The AFOLU sector accounts for about a quarter (~10–12GtCO2eq/yr) of net anthropogenic GHG emissions mainly from deforestation, agricultural emissions from soil and nutrient management and livestock (medium evidence, high agreement). Most recent estimates indicate a decline in AFOLU CO2 fluxes, largely due to decreasing deforestation rates and increased afforestation. In the future, net annual baseline CO2 emissions from AFOLU are projected to decline, with net emissions potentially less than half the 2010 level by 2050 and the possibility of the AFOLU sectors becoming a net CO2 sink before the end of century (medium evidence, high agreement).
AFOLU plays a central role for food security and sustainable development. The most cost‐effective mitigation options in forestry are afforestation, sustainable forest management and reducing deforestation, with large differences in their relative importance across regions. In agriculture, the most cost‐effective mitigation options are cropland management, grazing land management, and restoration of organic soils (medium evidence, high agreement).
Policies governing agricultural practices and forest conservation and management are more effective when involving both mitigation and adaptation. Some mitigation options in the AFOLU sector (such as soil and forest carbon stocks) may be vulnerable to climate change (medium evidence, high agreement).

IPCC - Mitigation of Climate Change

News · SCRR

Monday March 31, 2014

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts. A large fraction of both terrestrial and freshwater species faces increased extinction risk under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st century, especially as climate change interacts with other stressors, such as habitat modification, over-exploitation, pollution, and invasive species (high confidence). For the major crops (wheat, rice, and maize) in tropical and temperate regions, climate change without adaptation is projected to negatively impact production for local temperature increases of 2°C or more above late-20th-century levels, although individual locations may benefit (medium confidence). Major future rural impacts are expected in the near-term and beyond through impacts on water availability and supply, food security, and agricultural incomes, including shifts in production areas of food and non-food crops across the world (high confidence). Climate change over the 21st century is projected to increase displacement of people (medium evidence, high agreement). Adaptation planning and implementation can be enhanced through complementary actions across levels, from individuals to governments (high confidence). A first step towards adaptation to future climate change is reducing vulnerability and exposure to present climate variability (high confidence). Adaptation experience is accumulating across regions in the public and private sector and within communities (high confidence). Governments at various levels are starting to develop adaptation plans and policies and to integrate climate-change considerations into broader development plans.

IPCC - Summary for Policymakers

News · James Hutton Institute

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Edinburgh International Science Festival SCIMART: 6 April 2014, 11am £5.00

Location: Summerhall, Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1QH.
A farmers market with a scientific twist, SciMart brings together food producers, researchers and chefs to reveal the fascinating science behind some of our favourite foodstuffs. It takes place at Summerhall arts venue in Edinburgh.

With demons, talks and plenty of tasty treats, SciMart brings you a packed menu and some serious food for thought in the form of cooking demos from top Edinburgh chef Mark Greenaway, short talks by stand-up mathematician Simon Pampena, researchers from the James Hutton Institute and the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, brewers from Summerhall's in-house brewery Barneys and bug-eater Craig MacFarlane.

SCIMART information and booking


Wednesday March 19, 2014

SRUC and University of Edinburgh Explore Closer Alignment

The Board of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the University of Edinburgh have announced they are exploring a closer degree of collaboration - a move with the potential to create an influential force in the agricultural world.
SRUC’s Chairman Lord Jamie Lindsay said: “This is a very exciting agreement to further SRUC and the University’s existing relationship that not only has many potential benefits for the Scottish rural economy but could also create a leading force in addressing the complex challenge of feeding a world population that will reach nine billion by 2050.
“The ever-closer collaboration between SRUC and the University in recent years has encouraged the partners to believe that by enhancing our relationship we could, through leading research, education and consultancy activity, make an even greater contribution to addressing the challenges faced by Scottish, British, EU and global agriculture.”
Prof Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh said “We wish to explore this exciting opportunity, as closer alignment would not only enhance the research, education and consultancy that is so vital to Scotland's rural economy but would also contribute to addressing the critical global challenges of food security, sustainable environment and health”
It is envisaged that SRUC would retain its identity and mission. This would specifically include the complete range of education currently on offer that both SRUC and the University of Edinburgh realise is vital to Scotland’s rural economy.

SRUC and University of Edinburgh Explore Closer Alignment


Tuesday March 4, 2014

The John Muir Conference 2014: National Parks and Protected Areas for the 21st Century

May 12 and 13, 2014, Perth Concert Hall

An event to mark the centenary of Muir’s death and the year of Homecoming, organised jointly by Scottish Natural Heritage, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Cairngorms National Park, the National Trust for Scotland, the John Muir Trust, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Details in our Events section


Tuesday January 28, 2014

ESCom (Ecosystem Services Community) launch event

April 29 to May 1, 2014, Edinburgh

ESCom-Scotland is an emerging initiative to support collaboration between science, policy and practice to better manage Scotland’s natural resources. This launch event will take the form of an evening reception on April 29, 2014, followed by a two-day workshop in ECCI, Old High School, Infirmary St, Edinburgh.

Details in our Events section


Wednesday October 16, 2013

SAMS - Ocean currents to tell us more about our climate

Marine scientists in Scotland are part of an international team working on a newly funded multi-million pound project to monitor crucial ocean currents that shape Britain’s climate.
The £20 million project will focus on the North Atlantic, in particular the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre—a system of ocean currents in the high latitude, deep-water basins of the North Atlantic Ocean. It will generate new knowledge and understanding of the gyre’s wider impacts on climate and will help improve long term climate predictions and weather forecasting.
The project, the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), will run for five years, and will involve scientists from seven countries, including a team at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). The researchers will set up an array of moored instruments and use autonomous underwater gliders to patrol the North Atlantic, along a line from Scotland to Canada via Greenland. These will record ocean temperatures, salinity and the strength of currents continuously for four years starting next summer.
Scotland’s Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “This is an excellent example of the important research that Scottish academics and universities are involved in and the contribution we make to international scientific progress. The Scottish Association for Marine Science has a long involvement in the study of currents and their effect on the climate."

Ocean currents to tell us more about our climate

News · SCRR

Sunday September 1, 2013

A Rural Parliament for Scotland

On Wednesday 28 August 2013, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead announced Scottish Government backing for the first meeting of a Scottish Rural Parliament to take place in 2014. The Rural Parliament will empower Scotland’s rural communities by bringing people and policy makers together to look at improving policies and actions that address rural issues.

Development of the Scottish Rural Parliament

News · Scottish Natural Heritage

Wednesday July 10, 2013

2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity

The 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity is Scotland's response to the Aichi Targets set by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and the European Union's Biodiversity Strategy for 2020. It is a supplement to the Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands (2004). The two documents together comprise the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. The 2020 Challenge document provides greater detail in some areas, responds to the new international targets, and updates some elements of the 2004 document.

A Strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland.

News · University of the Highlands and Islands

Friday July 5, 2013

A Minimum Income Standard for Remote Rural Scotland

The Minimum Income Standard for Remote Rural Scotland report calculates how much it costs for people to live at a minimum acceptable standard in remote rural Scotland.
The research considered living costs in remote rural Scotland in the context of the fragility and sustainability of local communities, and the desirability of pensioners, working-age adults and families with children, on a range of incomes, to be able to live satisfactory lives there. The study investigated what people in these communities consider to be an acceptable living standard, in terms of meeting material needs as well as being able to participate in society.
Households in remote rural Scotland require significantly higher incomes to attain the same minimum living standard as those living elsewhere in the UK. This is partly due to the costs of additional travel, but mainly caused by the higher cost of buying the same things as elsewhere, and the extra cost of keeping warm.

A Minimum Income Standard for Remote Rural Scotland

News · Scottish Natural Heritage

Wednesday May 29, 2013

Mapping Scotland's wildness and wild land

On 30th April 2013 the Scottish Government published its Main Issues Report on the National Planning Framework 3 and revised Scottish Planning Policy. The Scottish Government has proposed that our work to map areas of wild land (that will in time replace the 2002 map of search areas), be used to identify 'core areas of wild land character' which need to be given significant protection from wind farm development under Scottish Planning Policy.

It is seeking views on this proposition as part of its consultation on National Planning Framework 3 and a revised Scottish Planning Policy. Full details of the consultation and how to submit your comments can be found on the Scottish Government's website (

The new maps of areas of wild land character can be viewed here:

Mapping Scotland's wildness and wild land


Wednesday May 29, 2013

Sustainable intensification: the pathway to low carbon farming?

The food security agenda is now becoming clearly aligned with a need to tackle human induced climate change. Agriculture is critical to this debate, with a need for a 70% increase in food production that is achieved in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow farming systems to adapt to the changing climate. Sustainable intensification has been advocated as an approach that can achieve these twin objectives.

SRUC’s Carbon Management Centre is organising an international conference on 25-27 September 2013 at Edinburgh University's John McIntyre Conference Centre to debate key issues surrounding sustainable intensification. This event will bring together natural scientists, social scientists, farm advisers and policy makers to discuss and debate the vital issues and explore how we can feed the rapidly expanding world whilst saving the environment. Key scientific themes will include development of new metrics for defining sustainable intensification, linking the development of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and how to support growth in developing countries without increasing their emissions.

Sustainable intensification: the pathway to low carbon farming?

News · RSPB Scotland

Wednesday May 22, 2013

State of Nature - 2013

In the Foreword to this Report, Sir David Attenborough writes,
“This important document provides a stark warning: far more species are declining than increasing in the UK, including many of our most treasured species. Alarmingly, a large number of them are threatened with extinction.
The causes are varied, but most are ultimately due to the way we are using our land and seas and their natural resources, often with little regard for the wildlife with which we share them. The impact on plants and animals has been profound.
Although this report highlights what we have lost, and what we are still losing, it also gives examples of how we – as individuals, organisations, governments – can work together to stop this loss, and bring back nature where it has been lost. These examples should give us hope and inspiration.”

The State of Nature report


Tuesday May 21, 2013

Scientific consensus on Maintaining Humanity’s Life Support Systems in the 21st Century – information for Policy Makers

The accelerating trends of climate disruption, extinction, ecosystem loss, pollution, and human population growth have prompted a consensus statement from 520 international scientists on the threats these pose to the life-support systems upon which we all depend for continuing the high quality of life that many people already enjoy and to which many others aspire.

The five interconnected dangerous trends listed above are having detrimental effects, and if continued, the already-apparent negative impacts on human quality of life will become much worse within a few decades.

The intent of this Scientific Consensus is to outline broad-brush actions that, from a scientific perspective, will be required to mitigate these threats. It is also to provide information that will be necessary and useful if the desire of the general public, governments, and businesses is to maximize the chance that the world of our children and grandchildren will be at least as good as the one in which we live now.

Maintaining Humanity’s Life Support Systems in the 21st Century


Thursday May 16, 2013

Levels of climate changing gases reach 400ppm

Readings from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, recorded by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, showed that concentrations of atmospheric CO2 reached 400ppm this week; the last time they were this high was between three and five million years ago (the Pliocene era).

News · Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Monday May 13, 2013

Climate impacts evidence for biodiversity changes in the UK's countryside

The Living With Environmental Change Partnership (LWEC) has gathered together the latest evidence and observations to give a comprehensive overview of what is happening now in the UK’s countryside, the extent to which climate change is contributing to those changes, and what we might expect to happen in the future as the magnitude of climate change increases. The Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Impacts Report Card is a multi-layered, web-based product which can be downloaded as a click-through pdf from the Living With Environmental Change website. It sets out the key trends in how UK biodiversity is responding to climate change, and provides an assessment of confidence in these trends based on the level of monitoring and research data available. The technical papers, which include supporting evidence and sections on knowledge gaps and confidence assessments, can be accessed on the Living With Environmental Change.

Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Impacts Report Card

News · SCRR

Wednesday May 1, 2013

Consultation on future Scotland Rural Development Programme launches

The first phase of the consultation on the future of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) is now underway. The SRDP delivers funding to a wide range of rural projects from village halls to farm diversifications. The current SRDP programme is coming to an end, and views are being sought on the SRDP for the period 2014-2020.

The SRDP distributes money from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Scottish Government to be spent on things like: the environment; modernisation of agriculture; forestry; business development; rural tourism; support for community groups and support for those living and working in fragile remote areas.

Consultation on future Scotland Rural Development Programme launches


Monday April 15, 2013

Year of Natural Scotland

Come and celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty throughout 2013. From stunning natural and historic landscapes, art inspired by nature, surprising wildlife and delicious food & drink, you can find nature right on your doorstep. Don’t miss the chance to experience the great Scottish outdoors for yourself, join in the celebrations with a packed programme of events and discover insider tips from across the country during the Year of Natural Scotland.

News · SRUC

Wednesday October 10, 2012

Progressing to a low carbon rural Scotland

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2012, an afternoon of debate and discussions will take place on the topic of transitions and visions for a low-carbon rural Scotland.

The event is free but just 35 or so places are available by invitation only and the organisers are keen to fairly represent all sectors - so please express your interest and bid for your place as early as possible.

This is one of 25 events in Scotland for the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2012. Please visit for further information.

Event details and how to register at

News · SCRR

Monday June 25, 2012

Edinburgh Consortium goes Scottish!

The Edinburgh Consortium for Rural Research has changed its name to the ‘Scottish Consortium’ following a meeting of the main board in June 2012. ‘If you look at the distribution of members of our consortium, you will see that they are scattered throughout Scotland,’ explains Prof Stuart Monro, Scientific Director. Prof Monro's full statement appears in our latest newsletter.

SCRR News 74 in Publications

News · Scottish Agricultural College

Wednesday May 30, 2012

SAC publishes ‘Rural Scotland in Focus 2012’

Scottish Agricultural College launched its second Rural Scotland in Focus report in Edinburgh on Monday May 28, 2012. This important report sets out the economic, social and demographic characteristics of rural Scotland, how these are changing and the implications of these changes for policy and practice.

Topics include rural housing and migration; the role of towns, the private sector and the third sector; high-speed broadband; and the implications of a ‘low carbon’ future.

Details of report, SAC website

Event update

Climate Connections: Climate Change Research in Scotland

· Friday May 13, 2011 · SNH Battleby Centre, nr Perth

A summary of the talks for this event is now available, written by Ruth Wolstenholme (SNIFFER) and Prof Stuart Monro (scientific director of SCRR). Videos and PDFs of the talks are already available.

Updated on Monday April 9, 2012

See Events

News · Moredun

Thursday April 5, 2012

Food security debate at Edinburgh Science Festival

A lively debate between leading scientists and the general public took place at the National Museum of Scotland on the evening of Tuesday 3 April as part of this year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival.

The debate focused on the challenges of global food security: with the world’s population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050, it is apparent that natural resources including land, water and energy are in limited supply.

The debate was hosted by Moredun in collaboration with the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen and Heriot-Watt University and was chaired by writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry. The expert panel included Professor Peter Morgan from the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Professor Julie Fitzpatrick from Moredun and Professor David Hopkins from Heriot-Watt University.

The event started with getting the audience’s view on what they understood by the term ‘food security’, followed by a brief film capturing the views of people on the streets of Edinburgh, which is available to view online via the news pages of Moredun‘s website.

‘Feeding the 7 billion’ – news story with video, Moredun website

Event update

Appliance of Science in the Rural Sector of Scotland

· ECRR Peter Wilson Lecture · February 13 2012

This lecture was given by Prof Iain J Gordon, chief executive of the James Hutton Institute. A summary and an audio recording of the lecture are now available.

Updated on Friday March 9, 2012

See Events

News · University of Edinburgh

Tuesday September 27, 2011

Princess Royal installed as Edinburgh chancellor

The Princess Royal was installed as Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in a ceremony at Old College on Monday September 26, 2012. She succeeds HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who stepped down from the role in 2010, having held it since 1953.

There is video of the ceremony on the university website.

Princess Royal installed as Chancellor – news story with video, University of Edinburgh website

Event update

Climate Connections: Climate Change Research in Scotland

· Friday May 13, 2011 · SNH Battleby Centre, Perth

Videos of the presentations from this event are now available to view. Find them on the Events page of this website and on the SCRR Viewer.

Updated on Wednesday September 7, 2011



Wednesday March 9, 2011

‘Our Rural Future’ published by Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has published this report in response to the Speak Up for Rural Scotland consultation of August 2010, which sought public views on how best rural Scotland can contribute to the nation’s sustainable economic growth.

The report identifies rural broadband as a priority. “The provision of broadband is key to unlocking the next stage of Scotland’s development and ensuring that everyone has access to the opportunities technology brings,” said Richard Lochhead, Rural Affairs Secretary.

The report can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website.

News · Scottish Natural Heritage

Wednesday November 10, 2010

Nature tourism ‘contributes £1.4bn annually’

Nature-based tourism contributes nearly 40% of the £4bn annual tourist spend in Scotland, according to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). Landscapes, wildlife and outdoor activities are consistently given as the top reasons for visiting Scotland.

The report Valuing Nature Based Tourism is available to download from the SNH website.