WHILE GREAT words were being spoken in Glasgow, the environment showcase day at Craigengillan Estate, Dalmellington, was very much about the actions being taken there to address the challenges of climate change and biodiversity.

The capacity occasion, organised with Scottish Land and Estates, was attended by local MSP Elena Whitham; the Shadow Minister for Biodiversity and Land Reform, Brian Whittle MSP; the leaders of East Ayrshire Council, and policy makers from NatureScot, RPID, The Woodland Trust, Royal Scottish Forestry Trust, SRUC, Ayrshire College, SAC, the UNESCO Biosphere and the Galloway National Park Association.

There was a live demonstration of traditional hedge laying, which is increasingly recognised for its value to climate change, biodiversity and local employment, and delegates were also able to see a peatland restoration project in action, and learn about the carbon savings arising from the hundreds of thousands of trees in the new native woodlands created at Craigengillan.

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Also on show was the work of Ayrshire College, which has based its student training in forestry and other skills at Craigengillan and plans to develop a model training centre for environmental skills, following the principles of the UNESCO Biosphere in which Craigengillan is situated.

Mark Gibson OBE, the owner of Craigengillan since 1999, set out his vision for the future: “I want to build on the achievements of the last 22 years and create a legacy well beyond my lifetime. Should we fail – and we will not – it will not be for lack of trying. The people attending the event are able and well qualified to come together and make a real difference for biodiversity, climate and change and the planet. We must act, do our bit and set an example.”