Newsletter – May 2019

Explore the big Biosphere ideas in this edition of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere news!
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Leading the way towards regional sustainability on International Biodiversity Day.

Gledpark Deer Park provided the perfect setting and ‘International Day for Biological Diversity’ the perfect day for the latest businesses in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere to be awarded the Biosphere Certification Mark. Eight businesses from a cross section of industries ranging from food, tourism, forestry, horticulture and publishing have been recognised for supporting sustainability and biodiversity in the Biosphere.
Chris Miles lifelong ecologist, recently retired Regional Manager for SNH and former chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Natural Heritage group was invited to make the awards alongside Emma Harper MSP South Scotland. He commented “It’s fantastic to see businesses in the region recognising the opportunities that the UNESCO Biosphere presents by promoting and enhancing their sustainability credentials and particularly apt to be making these awards on International Biodiversity Day when we should all be looking at how we can change our actions to benefit the natural world, after all the Biosphere vision is all about benefiting people and nature.” 
Emma Harper MSP said “I was pleased to have been invited to attend and present the awards for the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere event.”
“I congratulate the eight businesses from the Dumfries & Galloway and South Ayrshire area who have been awarded the Biosphere Certification Mark, the only part of the UK to have a developed quality mark.
“I am familiar with a number of the businesses receiving this award – including Rupert Shaw, who I have visited at his venison farm on numerous occasions – and understand the great passion there is among businesses to ensure sustainability for both their business and the environment which surrounds them.
“I look forward to arranging visits with all eight businesses to receive this award and to learn more about how their actions are benefiting and contributing to the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.”
The event host Rupert Shaw Regional Chair of NFUS and owner of Gledpark who runs 70 breeding hinds alongside a beef herd and renewable energy production has received the Biosphere Certification Mark for his venison said “Receiving my Biosphere certification on National Biodiversity Day simply reinforces my belief that commercial farming and delivering for the environment do go hand in hand.” 
“I take great pride in my venison production and I am proud of where I live and farm in Kirkcudbright – in the heart of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.” 
“I have a customer base that includes cookery schools, hotels and restaurants and having this valuable certification provides them with further reassurance on the high standards of venison production and environmental protection that we deliver on our farm.”
The newly certified businesses included Land Energy Girvan, Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, Freelance Ranger, Galloway Flowers, Brookford B & B, Curly Tale Books, Nithbank Country Estate who along with Rupert Shaw celebrated by having a locally prepared Gledpark venison dish from a recipe produced by Ayrshire College Professional Cookery students specially for International Biological Diversity Day.

Joan Mitchell Chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership said “UNESCO’s Biospheres are the world’s only globally recognised designation for regions demonstrating excellence in sustainable development. Our Biosphere can bring real value to our rural businesses and communities by leveraging the powerful UNESCO brand. The Biosphere Certification Mark which is for both services and product labelling is a great recognition to those businesses supporting sustainability.”

The next round to apply for Biosphere Certification is now open until the 28th June so if you are interested please get in touch as soon as contacting or for more information check


Ayrshire College Students Cooking up a Bio-diversity delight!

Biosphere were approached by UNESCO (United Nations Educations Science and Culture) to put forward sustainable recipes for the International day of Biological Diversity on 22nd May 2019 that embraced “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” 

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere called on Ayrshire College with whom we have a Learning Partnership and.Level 4 Professional Cookery Class students where set about the challenge to create a 3 course menu made from local ingredients from local producers. A fantastic menu was created


o             Starter - Roasted venison loin with blackcurrants and shredded leeks
o             Main - Navarin of lamb printaniere
o             Dessert - St Clements cheesecake with caramelised orange

Their winning recipe Navarin of Lamb Printaniere was one of those selected from hundreds of submissions from across the world to appear the in the UNESCO recipe book 'Flavours of Biosphere Reserves'

Job Opportunity in the Biosphere

PLACE Project - Community Officer

“PLACE (People Land Art Culture Environment) in the Biosphere” is project developed by the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.

PLACE in the Biosphere runs across three contrasting landscapes within the UNESCO Biosphere: the Borgue Peninsula; the Wigtownshire Moors; and the Stinchar Valley. 

PLACE in the Biosphere is led primarily by a team of two Project Officers supported by a steering group comprising Biosphere and community representative. 
The new project officer will be focusing primarily on communities in the Stinchar Valley.

The Role

We are looking for a confident, outgoing individual who has a strong background in participatory community engagement.

You’ll need to have a good understanding of both the challenges that isolated rural communities face but also the attractions that living in such locations can provide.

You should have a proven interest and understanding in the natural and / or cultural heritage of south west Scotland and will be used to finding innovative ways of bringing it alive to people of all ages, backgrounds and interests.

You’ll also need to have an understanding of the roles that the different public agencies play in influencing the rural environment and how communities can engage with them.

You’ll need to be used to working both on your own and also as part of a team and should have experience of mediating between groups and individuals who may have strong views.

If this sounds like you then find out more at PLACE Community Officer - Southern Uplands Partnership


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