Professor to help shape future rural policy

Published Friday, 2nd August 2019 in Rural Policy Centre news

Professor Davy McCracken
Professor Davy McCracken

SRUC’s Head of Integrated Land Management has joined a panel of academic experts to review and advise on future rural policy in Scotland.

Professor Davy McCracken is one of five academics who will provide a challenge and testing mechanism for the Farming and Food Production Policy Group. They will also provide the Scottish Government with a demand-led advice service over the period to 2024, as policies for sustainable rural land management and interventions into the wider rural economy are considered and developed.

Announcing the panel while attending Moy Games in Inverness, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “With Scotland’s rural economy bursting with talent and potential, it is imperative that we continue to have the right policies and frameworks in place to ensure it continues to grow and flourish.

“That is why I am pleased to announce the establishment of an academic advisory panel that will offer insights into the evidence base, provide a challenge and testing mechanism to future policy development and advise on the future direction of travel as we move towards 2024. I look forward to working with them.”

Prof McCracken said: “I firmly believe that integrating trees and woodland much more into Scottish farming systems could provide a range of benefits. To livestock and crop production, through increasing the amount of shelter available. To the environment by, for example, providing habitat for other wildlife and, if trees are planted in the right places, alleviating flooding.

“There are economic benefits too and integration like this could increase the resilience of farms to climatic and economic shocks. As Head of Integrated Land Management, I therefore look forward to helping the Scottish Government consider how best to create an integrated approach to future rural land use in Scotland.”

Prof McCracken is joined on the Panel by Prof Alan Matthews (Trinity College Dublin); Prof Deb Roberts (James Hutton Institute);  Prof Andrew Millar (Chief Scientific Advisor for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture); and Prof David Reay (Professor of Carbon Management at the University of Edinburgh). 

The Farming and Food Production Future Policy Group was announced at the Royal Highland Show 2019.

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