GLEDPARK Deer Farm at Borgue is the latest business in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere to be awarded the 'Biosphere Certification Mark'.

Rupert Shaw, who is regional chair of NFU Scotland and owner of Gledpark, running 70 breeding hinds alongside a beef herd and renewable energy production, 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 for my venison 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.”

Eight businesses from a cross section of industries ranging from food, tourism, forestry, horticulture and publishing have now been recognised for supporting sustainability and biodiversity within the Biosphere. These newly certified businesses include Land Energy Girvan, the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, Freelance Ranger, Galloway Flowers, Brookford B and B, Curly Tale Books, and Nithbank Country Estate.

Chris Miles, recently retired regional manager for SNH and former chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Natural Heritage group, 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. The Biosphere vision is all about benefiting people and nature.”

Chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership, Joan Mitchell, added: “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.”