To those who enjoy being in the countryside, it is many things to those who live here.
The people of Dumfries and Galloway have a rich and diverse landscape which provides a valuable resource of natural assets and is a wholly rural region of Scotland.
It is wild, beautiful, sparsely populated and is a fair way away from any city, but the people who live here must have the means to continue to live and work here. No matter what that is, everyone has that right. The hills, sea, forest, farms and towns must be able to facilitate that living.
Dumfries and Galloway Outdoor Access Trust see countryside access as an important element to help provide that opportunity. There is an important process currently underway by the Scottish Government for rural life to be strengthened.
I have attached a link to the National Council of Rural Advisers’ (NCRA) discussion document – ‘A Rural Conversation: Together We Can, Together We Will’, launched last week, following a presentation to the First Minister and Cabinet.
The NCRA is ambitious about fostering a sense of ownership, enthusiasm and confidence and your voice will be crucial in helping us to achieve this. Our opportunity to shape the future is now and we hope you will assist us in ensuring this document provides the focus for a national conversation and a more aspirational message about our future.
I have already contributed to the process and was inspired by the Rural Thinks process and the people I met as a result, on this basis my message to you is strong, the rural economy and its people are innovative, ambitious and resilient and it is time to remove the barriers to realising the value of these assets.
Please consider taking part. Everything will be recorded, from a comment to a full-blown reply. Thank you