By Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Scotland head of policy, Ross MacLeod

First up, more benign weather next spring for lambing and wildlife in general would be welcome! We’d like our farming operation at Auchnerran in Aberdeenshire to gain a better understanding of soil health to give us a full picture of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon sequestration. We’d also like to see more research into ways we can bear down on sheep GHG emissions.

On other fronts, we are keen to see all the work on funding and our support for the Moredun Research Institute’s Louping Ill vaccine research come to fruition.

We hope that Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board (ARIOB) can make genuine progress towards smooth introduction of new farm support by 2025. This is vital if we are to balance productive, efficient farming and reduced emissions with much needed action to combat biodiversity declines. Key to this will be establishing practical ‘outcomes’ measures.

With only so much that individual farmers can do to support biodiversity, we feel there’s a big gap between this work and what the proposed regional land use partnerships could deliver. In our experience, support for farmer cluster collaboration works best where local farmers take the lead on supporting species and habitats particular to their area or community.