Major land use conference to be held at University of Glasgow Dumfries campus

Published: 23 November 2011

A conference examining the future of rural landscape management and tourism will take place at the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries campus on Thursday 24 November.

A conference examining the future of rural landscape management and tourism will take place at the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries campus on Thursday 24 November.

The ‘Changes to Land Use: Policy and Practice’ conference, organised by the University of Glasgow, the Southern Uplands Partnership and South of Scotland Business Solutions, will feature presentations on land use issues from high-profile figures across a wide range of disciplines.

Speakers will include Sally Thomas, head of the Scottish Government’s Land Use and Natural Environment Team; Professor Roger Crofts of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; Nigel Wallace, co-ordinator of the proposed Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership; Caroline Warburton of Wild Scotland; David Henderson-Howat, Head of Policy at Forestry Commission Scotland and Jonnie Hall of the National Farmers Union Scotland.

Prof David Clark, Director of the University of Glasgow’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies in Dumfries, said: “The conference will be an excellent opportunity for generating discussion and debate around the stewardship and management of the land which plays a major role in the region’s economy, environment and culture.

“The event brings together experts across many organisations and disciplines to shape thinking, policy and practice, and to define the key questions for research.

“As well as a strong environmental research focus, the campus is a rich pocket of expertise in environmental teaching, offering the UK's only BSc Environmental Stewardship and the flagship MSc Applied Carbon Management, taught in partnership with the Crichton Carbon Centre.”

The event will also raise the profile of the University of Glasgow’s new Solway Centre for Environment and Culture, which is expected to be formally launched in February.

Dr Valentina Bold, of the University of Glasgow in Dumfries, said: “The Solway Centre will pursue innovative research in a number of fields related to land use, including rural landscape management, landscape place and memory and sustainable rural tourism. 

“The continuing evolution of the ways in which we interact with the countryside has created a number of new challenges for land users, managers and policymakers which demand intensive study. We expect the Centre’s researchers will be looking at issues including  flood protection, carbon sequestration, agricultural production, space for sport and recreation, wildlife habitat and energy resources.

“The conference will allow us to generate new ideas ahead of the launch of the Solway Centre and create new opportunities to form partnerships and working groups with organisations from across Scotland.”

Eva Milroy, Business Liaison Officer with South of Scotland Business Solutions, said: "We are delighted to be working with the University of Glasgow's Dumfries Campus to host this event and enable the sharing of knowledge and expertise on such an important issue. 

“In a rural area such as Dumfries & Galloway, the land and local economy are inextricably linked, so it is important that there is a platform where views of local businesses, organisations, partners and stakeholders can help shape future thinking. We are very pleased by the positive response by local businesses and stakeholders to contribute to a discussion on land use issues."

The ‘Changes to Land Use: Policy to Practice’ conference will take place at Browne House, Crichton University Campus, Dumfries on Thursday 24 November from 9:30am to 3pm. For more information, contact Eva Milroy on 01387 734 139 or


For more information contact Ross Barker in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 8593 or email

Notes to editor

South of Scotland Business Solutions is a unique new academic partnership project bring together three colleges (Barony, Borders and Dumfries & Galloway Colleges) and four universities (Scottish Agricultural College, Heriot Watt University, University of Glasgow and University of the West of Scotland), based in the South of Scotland, to promote the sharing of knowledge between education and business.

Building on the existing Further and Higher Education collaborations on the Crichton Campus in Dumfries and Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels, the cross-campus knowledge exchange organisation, provides one point of call for businesses to access the combined resources, expertise and services of the academic partners.

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council and European Regional Development Fund, South of Scotland Business Solutions aims to encourage local companies to access the technical expertise, knowledge and research skills available within the colleges and universities in their area, to help their business develop and remain competitive.

More information available at:

First published: 23 November 2011