Newsletter -June 2018 (copy 01)

Explore the big Biosphere ideas in this edition of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere news!
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Biosphere Certification Mark

Earlier this month  we were joined by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Tourism, Fiona Hyslop and Dr Beth Taylor, Chair of the UK National Commision for UNESCO who officially launched the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere certification award which will be awarded to businesses that can demonstrate high standards in delivering environmental and sustainable development benefits. 

The launch of the certification mark was a first for any UK UNESCO designation and  an opportunity to highlight the global value of the UNESCO designations and the potential of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere to support sustainability, economic development and tourism in South West Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said:

“This certification award from Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is a significant development which aligns with our priority to further promote the south of Scotland and Ayrshire as a tourism destination. As the first area in Scotland to receive UNESCO Biosphere status and with its wide variety of natural landscapes, cultural heritage and wildlife, the Biosphere has much to offer to local and international visitors. I am confident the new award will bring many opportunities to both businesses and communities in the area, ensuring our unique biosphere is preserved and promoted as a place of international significance for locals and tourists alike.”

Dr Beth Taylor Chair, UK National Commission for UNESCO said: “UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves are the world’s only globally recognised designation for demonstrating excellence in sustainable development. Biospheres bring value to their communities by leveraging the powerful UNESCO brand and collaborating with the global UNESCO network. Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is leading the way in developing a quality mark linked to sustainability for businesses in the region. Congratulations on a great achievement!”

Over recent months a successful pilot scheme has taken place with 3 local businesses from the Accommodation, Food and Drink, and Outdoor Activity Sectors. Balkissock Lodge Bed and Breakfast, Adventure Centre for Education and Salad Brew which is a hydroponic salad and vegetable grower. Businesses using the certification mark hope to attract a premium value or more discerning customers.

The new scheme is free and more details on how to apply can be found by clicking here 

PLACE in the Biosphere

PLACE in the Biosphere is a new 2 year project developed by Southern Uplands Partnership and the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, D&G Council and South Ayrshire Council.
Two project officers – Lynsay Forsyth and Jono Hudson - have just been appointed to work with communities in three contrasting landscape areas: the Borgue Peninsula; the Wigtownshire Moors; and the Stinchar Valley; to engage them more with their local natural and cultural heritage.

The PLACE Project aims to help people gain a greater understanding of their local and surrounding cultural and natural assets; the People, Land, Art, Culture and Environment.
We hope this will engender a greater sense of pride in the local environment and will empower people to be more involved in strategic decision making affecting their area. It will also help to create new economic opportunities; helping to achieve a sustainable future for their community and surrounding landscape.
About the Project Officers

Lynsay Forsyth was born and raised in Dumfries in Galloway which has contributed to a real understanding of rural life from the closeness to nature and the beautiful scenery to the pressures of isolation and geographical constraints. She see her new role as one of the PLACE Community Project Officers as an exciting challenge; ‘I am delighted to be offered this role within my local area, I have a personal attachment to Dumfries and Galloway, and feel that I can contribute to helping rural communities make big changes. We want to encourage local communities within the Biosphere to recognise their potential, to utilise their natural, cultural and heritage assets and to achieve harmony between people and the environment.’

Jono Hudson, lives in Newton Stewart, but originally hails from West Yorkshire. After spending 20 years in the civil service, Jono studied for two separate degree courses; firstly an FdSc in Environmental Conservation; then a BSc(Hons) in Wildlife Management. This led to several years working as an ecological consultant followed by a year in the Outer Hebrides, project managing an EU conservation project. He then moved to southwest Scotland to take up an area officer role with Scottish Natural Heritage. A large part of his career has involved integrating and working closely with communities, so he is looking forward to working with communities on the PLACE in the Biosphere Project.  Outside work, he is a musician, and is lead singer and guitarist with a local rock band.

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