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Hill & Mountain Research Centre news

Moorlands form a large and important resource for upland enterprises

Moor value

Published: Thursday, 12th March 2020

Researchers from SRUC have contributed to a new publication looking at the future of Scotland’s moorlands.

A new European project will improve the viability of sheep farms

New fleece of life for sheep project

Published: Monday, 16th December 2019

A European sheep network has been given a new lease of life after securing funding for three years.

New report highlights importance of reversing decline of high nature value farmland

Back to the future

Published: Tuesday, 10th December 2019

The importance of ensuring a future for ‘high nature value’ farmlands across the globe has been highlighted in a new paper published by a consortium of European scientists.

Auchtertyre in the 1980s and present day

Upland research farms reach 50-year summit

Published: Monday, 11th November 2019

Scotland’s Rural College is this week celebrating the 50th anniversary of its innovative, influential and international upland research and demonstration farms.

A SheepNet workshop will share tips on increasing flock productivity and profitability

Sheep sharing

Published: Tuesday, 24th September 2019

An EU network to increase sheep productivity and flock profitability by knowledge exchange is celebrating the end of its three-year partnership with an event in Perth.

SRUC researchers will help beef cattle farmers in the American Southwest improve productivity (credit: © Elizabeth - stock.adobe.com)

Beefing up cattle production in New Mexico

Published: Monday, 23rd September 2019

Scotland’s Rural College is part of a new multi-million dollar research project investigating how to improve beef cattle production in the United States using precision farming methods.

The group, including Prof Davy McCracken, second left, met at Balruddery research farm

MSPs given lowdown on sustainable farming

Published: Thursday, 8th August 2019

Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee have been learning more about future sustainable agricultural policy and practices in Scotland.

Sheep at the SRUC Hill and Mountain Research Centre are brought into the pens

Reaching for the Summit

Published: Friday, 8th February 2019

A new teaching and events space is planned for Scotland’s Rural College Hill and Mountain Research Centre, near Crianlarich in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Professor Davy McCracen and Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform

Mountain research piques Cabinet Secretary’s interest

Published: Friday, 3rd August 2018

SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre upland research and demonstration farms, near Crianlarich, were recently the focus of a Ministerial visit.

Post-Brexit discussions in London

Post-Brexit discussions in London

Published: Thursday, 2nd August 2018

Staff from SRUC's Rural Policy Centre recently spent a day in London talking to politicians and policy makers about post-Brexit challenges in Scotand.

Rural skills on display at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Rural skills on display at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Published: Tuesday, 5th June 2018

More than 60 secondary school pupils recently attended an enjoyable Rural Skills Day at SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre farms, near Crianlarich.

Curlew by John Harding/BTO Images

Wading birds in deep trouble

Published: Tuesday, 21st November 2017

An urgent call for volunteers has been issued to help tackle the mass decline of wading birds in Scotland.

SRUC's hill farming

Raising awareness of SRUC's hill farming expertise in Ireland

Published: Thursday, 9th November 2017

Davy McCracken, Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, recently spoke at a conference in the west of Ireland about the need for innovation in hill farming systems.

Students at farm hearing from staff member

Students flock to Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Published: Friday, 20th October 2017

A wide range of SRUC students have been making good use of the SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre research farms, near Crianlarich, this autumn.

Group gathered outside  SRUC building

Updates from SheepNet – the EU network on sheep productivity

Published: Wednesday, 11th October 2017

In the last six months, there has been a series of interesting developments in the EU network on sheep productivity – called SheepNet – in which SRUC is one of seven core partners.

livestock research at SRUC

Over 40 ground-breaking research projects highlighted in new SRUC publication

Published: Wednesday, 16th August 2017

Over 40 ground-breaking livestock research projects are highlighted in a new publication from SRUC to promote agricultural innovation that can benefit producers and the wider industry.

pictured: Davy McCracken, SRUC Professor of Agricultural Ecology

Discussing Brexit and the environment at Westminster

Published: Tuesday, 1st August 2017

Davy McCracken, SRUC Professor of Agricultural Ecology, recently attended a meeting in London to discuss the likely impacts of Brexit on the UK and Scottish environment.

Kirkton french student story agathe malzac may

The French Connection continues in the Highlands

Published: Wednesday, 19th July 2017

A French student from sunny Bordeaux in the south west of France has just completed a five month internship at SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, near Crianlarich.

Davy McCracken and fellow panel members discussing Landcare Europe’s proposals for a public goods premium to be incorporated into the basic payment of the CAP.

Helping highlight a potential new structure for the CAP

Published: Tuesday, 14th February 2017

Davy McCracken, Head of SRUC's Hill & Mountain Research Centre, recently paid a flying visit to Brussels.

Sheepnet group photo ireland 2016

SRUC in new EU network on sheep productivity

Published: Wednesday, 21st December 2016

SRUC has become one of seven partners involved in a brand new EU £2m euro network on sheep productivity – called SheepNet.

RSPB award

Chough conservation efforts highly commended by RSPB

Published: Wednesday, 7th December 2016

A long-term project involving SRUC to save the endangered red-billed chough has been highly commended at the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards ceremony.

Kirkton teagsc

Video: Teagasc visits Hill & Mountain Research Centre to develop collaboration links

Published: Wednesday, 26th October 2016

SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre is keen to develop areas of collaboration with the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Teagasc after a fact finding visit.

Sheep and lambs

Video: Davy McCracken joins National Sea Eagle Stakeholder Group

Published: Wednesday, 26th October 2016

Professor Davy McCracken, Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, has joined the National Sea Eagle Stakeholders Group to provide objective input to help inform discussion within the group.

Davy explaining

SRUC Raising Awareness of Hill Farming Challenges

Published: Wednesday, 17th August 2016

Staff at SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre have been travelling around Scotland but also half-way around the globe this summer, to raise awareness of the challenges facing hill farming.

kirkton open day

Kirkton Open Day: 18 August 2016

Published: Wednesday, 3rd August 2016

Annual Open Day at Kirkton & Auchtertyre farms.

Kirkton visitor

Busy Month of International Visitors to Kirkton and Auchtertyre

Published: Tuesday, 19th July 2016

July has been a very busy month for international visitors to SRUC’s upland research farms near Crianlarich.

Board visit to kirkton photo

SRUC Board Visit to Kirkton

Published: Tuesday, 21st June 2016

Members of SRUC’s board and senior management team recently paid a visit to Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms near Crianlarich – home to SRUC’s upland research facilities.

Davy speaking

Discussion and Debate at Agriculture and Environment Conference

Published: Thursday, 10th March 2016

Presentations by 25 high profile speakers from the UK and Brussels stimulated successful discussion and debate at the eleventh Agriculture and Environment conference held last week in Edinburgh.

Kirkton snowing picture

The Show Still Goes on at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Published: Thursday, 10th March 2016

It may be winter with the hills covered in snow, but that doesn’t stop staff from SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre near Crianlarich spreading the word about the research being carried out!

lapwing chicks, rspb, feed birds

Addressing Predation of Ground Nesting Birds

Published: Friday, 26th February 2016

A report from a ground-breaking project identifying ways to resolve conflicts about bird and mammal predation of ground nesting birds was launched recently by Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod.

Frank and Gertrude Just Part of the Kirkton Year

Published: Thursday, 11th February 2016

The Pre Christmas storms battering Scotland were only part of 2015 at SRUC’s Hill research farms near Crianlarich where the total rain fall was 1,058 mm above the 20 year average.

Hil farming

Hill & Mountain Researchers Speak at Conferences Accross Europe

Published: Thursday, 10th December 2015

Researchers from SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre have been speaking to conferences across Europe about their work at Kirkton and Auchteryre Farm and beyond.

Janet opens Wigwams

Happy 21st Birthday to SRUC’s Wigwam Business

Published: Wednesday, 14th October 2015

Janet Swadling, SRUC’s Acting Chief Executive recently visited SRUC’s Strathfillan Wigwams business on Kirkton & Auchtertye research farms, near Crianlarich, to mark the wigwams’ 21st anniversary.

A Week of Wide-Ranging Events at SRUC's Upland Research Farms

Published: Wednesday, 14th October 2015

SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre upland research farms, near Crianlarich, recently held three major knowledge exchange events in the space of one week.

Kirkton open day

Livestock Handling, Health and Welfare Hot Topics at Recent Farm Open Day

Published: Wednesday, 16th September 2015

There was a focus on safe and cost-effective handling of sheep and cattle at SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre upland research farms’ recent open day.

Talk on hill farming

What’s Up in the Uplands?

Published: Wednesday, 16th September 2015

A key issue for upland farmers is the need to ensure economic viability while balancing a host of competing concerns.

Ailsa Thomson

SRUC Aberdeen Student Heads to the Hills

Published: Thursday, 3rd September 2015

Ailsa Thomson, a 3rd year Agriculture student at SRUC’s Aberdeen Campus, has gained invaluable knowledge about farming after a summer working at SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre in Stirlingshire

Wooden dam

Major peatland restoration work ongoing at SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre Farms

Published: Wednesday, 15th July 2015

A major peatland restoration project, led by Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park in collaboration with SRUC and Luss Estates, will help reduce the effects of climate change.

Valerie Dubuc, one of three lecturers accompanying the group, translating questions from the students during John Holland’s presentation out on the hills above the farms.

Auld alliance alive and well at SRUC's Kirkton & Auchtertyre Farms

Published: Wednesday, 15th July 2015

A group of 40 French students recently visited SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertrye upland research farms to hear about the agricultural and environmental challenges facing Scottish hill farmers.

Rushes

To Control Farm Rushes - Look to Your Soil!

Published: Wednesday, 1st July 2015

Look to your soil if you want to control rushes on your farm.

Highland Sheep

SRUC Prominent at Highland Sheep

Published: Wednesday, 1st July 2015

The strength of the contingent of SRUC researchers and consultants at the recent Highland Sheep event highlighted the many ways that Scotland’s Rural College supports sheep farmers.

Open farm Sunday at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Dry Day Boosts Open Farm Sunday Success at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Published: Wednesday, 17th June 2015

A dry day encouraged more than a hundred visitors to Open Farm Sunday at Scotland’s Rural College’s research farms near Crianlarich.

Helicopter at Kirkton

More Than Bees Buzzing at SRUC's Kirkton & Auchtertyre Farms

Published: Wednesday, 17th June 2015

While SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre upland research farms are home to a variety of wild bees it was helicopter blades that were making the surrounding hills buzz recently.

Bitesize CPD Talks for Vets Sheep

Cutting Medication Costs and Breeding for Disease Resistance SRUC’s North Sheep Focus

Published: Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

Ways to reduce some medication use by 50% was a feature of the SRUC / SAC Consulting stand at the North Sheep event at Cockermouth in Cumbria.

kirkton open day

Learn About the Science of Farming at SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farm Open Day!

Published: Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

SRUC’s hill farming research farms, Kirkton and Auchtertyre, will be opening their gates and welcoming the general public for an action packed free day of scientific discovery and farming facts.

Maximising Efficiency and Minimising Health Concerns the Focus for Scotland’s Rural College at Dornoch’s Highland Sheep Event

Published: Tuesday, 2nd June 2015

Ways to improve the efficiency of sheep farming businesses will be the focus of activity on the Scotland’s Rural College stand at the keenly awaited “Highland Sheep 2015” event.

kirkton farm

Rush Control on Farms and Crofts – SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchentyre Farms to Host Half Day Workshop

Published: Thursday, 21st May 2015

SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchentyre farms, near Crianlarich, will host a Soil Association Scotland two-year trial to investigate and demonstrate non-chemical techniques to control rushes on farms and crofts.

Harper Adams students visit SRUC hill farms

Harper Adams Students at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Published: Wednesday, 4th March 2015

Final year Agriculture students from Harper Adams University in England recently learned more about research ongoing at SRUC’s hill farms near Crianlarich.

Introduction to Land Based Studies students building bridges at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Education and Research Build Bridges at Kirkton and Auchtertyre

Published: Wednesday, 18th February 2015

Students on the Introduction to Land Based Studies course at the Elmwood campus of Scotland’s Rural College recently spent two days bridge building at SRUC’s hill farms near Crianlarich.

Kirkton drainage

Kirkton and Auchtertyre Host Soil Drainage Day

Published: Wednesday, 18th February 2015

Highlighting the agricultural efficiency, nutrient and pollution management benefits gained from well managed drainage systems was the focus of an event at SRUC's Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms.

Ewe with sucking lamb

New Cumnock Meeting Aimed at Hill Farmers across Scotland – Improving Ewe Profitability

Published: Wednesday, 18th February 2015

Respected Ayrshire hill farmer Stevie Guild of Ashmark Farm will host an event focused on improving the profitability of ewes, the breeding females at the heart of the sector, on Tuesday 24 February.

Kirkton sheep in snow

Kirkton & Auchtertyre Progress

Published: Wednesday, 11th February 2015

Despite having to deal with snow, ice and floods SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre hill research farms have begun to prepare for the year ahead, reports Professor Davy McCracken.

Kirkton Talking Science event

Locals Brave Torrential Rain and High Winds to find out more about Kirkton Farm

Published: Wednesday, 29th October 2014

Talking Science made its way up to SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farm this weekend to showcase Scottish science.

German farmers visit Hill & Mountain Research Centre

An international flavour at SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre Farms

Published: Wednesday, 29th October 2014

There was a decidedly international flavour when SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, near Crianlarich, hosted visits from two separate groups on the same day.

Discover the Future of Farming at SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farm Open Day!

Published: Thursday, 16th October 2014

SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchtertyre Research Farm is throwing open its gates to welcome the public for a free day of scientific discovery. The farm will be open from 12pm – 4pm on Sunday 26 October.

Activity Tourism event - Oatridge Campus and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Skills Partnership

SRUC and the Skills Partnership Join Forces to bring Activity Tourism to Loch Lomond

Published: Wednesday, 15th October 2014

SRUC Oatridge Campus lecturers, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Skills Partnership, school pupils and local businesses met recently to explore the opportunities for young people in activity tourism.

Harriet Wishart at the maternal Sheep group

UK Maternal Sheep Group Discusses SRUC Sheep Research

Published: Wednesday, 1st October 2014

SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre recently hosted a visit by members of the UK Maternal Sheep Group.

kirkton open day

BBC Alba Captures Kirkton & Auchtertyre Open Day on Camera

Published: Tuesday, 2nd September 2014

Last week saw a very successful Open Day at SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre hill farms.

Kirkton flock

Farm and Industry Open Day at SRUC’s Crianlarich Hill Farms: A Positive Way Forward

Published: Tuesday, 26th August 2014

There will be much to hear about and see during the Open Day planned by Scotland’s Rural College at their Kirkton & Auchtertyre hill farms, near Crianlarich, on Wednesday 3 September.

Kirkton Grassland Group

Kirkton Grassland Group Looks at Bracken Control

Published: Wednesday, 13th August 2014

Scotland’s Rural College's Kirkton and Auchertyre farms recently hosted the latest meeting of the farmers' group focused on grassland management in the uplands.

Davy McCracken speaks in Galicia, Spain

Galician Exposure for Davy

Published: Wednesday, 13th August 2014

Professor Davy McCracken, Head of the SRUC Hill & Mountain Research Centre, has just returned from Galicia, in north-west Spain, where he had been invited to speak at a Summer School.

Ewen Campbell EID

Adopting Sheep EID – Kirkton Team Video Benefits

Published: Wednesday, 25th June 2014

Researchers at Scotland’s Rural College have recently launched a new video on electronic identification of sheep (EID).

Kirkton sheep pens

Visitors Get a Taste of SRUC’s Research on Farm

Published: Wednesday, 5th March 2014

SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farms have been busy demonstrating their many research projects over the last few weeks.

Harper Adams student visit

Harper Adams Students visit SRUC

Published: Wednesday, 5th March 2014

A class of students from the Harper Adams University College in England visited several of SRUC’s research sites during a study tour to Scotland coordinated by SRUC's Dr Jo Conington.

Performance Management for Flockmasters – Free Farmers Event at SRUC’s Crianlarich Research Farms

Published: Tuesday, 4th February 2014

Farming is facing change, not only from the climate, as recent events have shown, but next year the way the Common Agricultural Policy works in Scotland will also be very different.

Kirkton flock

Weather Records at Kirkton & Auchtertyre Tell the Story of 2013

Published: Wednesday, 22nd January 2014

Sited at 500m above sea level the Met Office weather station at SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre near Crianlarich offers statistics and an insight into the past season.

Kirkton sheep with lambs

2013: A Busy Year for SRUC's Kirkton & Auchtertyre Farms

Published: Wednesday, 15th January 2014

Thousands of West Highland Way walkers pass through SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms every year.

Davy McCracken RPC Associate

Davy McCracken Runs for the Hills

Published: Thursday, 19th September 2013

Professor Davy McCracken will succeed Dr Tony Waterhouse as Head of SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research Centre.

Hill sheep fore

SRUC Upland Research Published in US Journal

Published: Wednesday, 14th August 2013

The most recent edition of a major US journal Rangeland Ecology and Management has used a paper by SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research team as its featured article.

Kirkton Open Day

Sun Shines on Successful Kirkton Open Day

Published: Wednesday, 29th May 2013

Farmers gathered near Crianlarich recently, at the Scotland’s Rural College Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms open day to hear about the ongoing research projects.

Scottish Agriculture Brings Texan Students to SRUC Kirkton

Published: Wednesday, 29th May 2013

Kirkton served as a learning ground for seven students and one professor from Texas A&M University (College Station) when they attended the Open Day at SRUC Kirkton and Auchtertyre Units.

kirkton farm

Open Day at SRUC Crianlarich Hill Farm

Published: Wednesday, 8th May 2013

With a new suckler herd, grassland improvement and progress with the sheep flocks, there will be much to see at Scotland’s Rural College’s hill farm open day near Crianlarich on Friday May 24th.

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