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First Cairngorms Farmers Forum Meeting

28th September 2009

A new group which will help farmers and land managers in the Cairngorms National Park will hold its inaugural meeting next week in Tomintoul. The focus of the first meeting of the Cairngorms Farmers’ Forum  – which takes place on Wednesday 7 October in the Gordon Arms Hotel at 7pm – is animal health in the Cairngorms National Park, with Badenoch and Strathspey vet and Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) board member Andrew Rafferty leading the discussions.

Among the issues on the agenda for the meeting include a Park-wide animal health scheme, existing health schemes, BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) in cattle and high health livestock sales, with presentations from the Scottish Agriculture College and the ANM Group.

The Cairngorms Farmers’ Forum has been set up to give members the opportunity to discuss important farming and land management issues such as animal health, forestry and woodland plantations, support schemes and so on.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Andrew Rafferty said: “The Cairngorms Farmers’ Forum is a great initiative and it will truly help farmers, estate factors, crofters and so on. There have been calls for this type of group for some time now so I would urge anyone with an interest to come along to the meeting and get involved –  this is their chance. It really is a great opportunity to learn from others and help maintain a viable farming industry within the Cairngorms National Park.”

Gordon McConachie, Land Management Support Officer at the CNPA added: “The Cairngorms Farmers Forum aim is to help the estimated 400 plus farmers, estate factors and crofters in the Park to work together to their mutual benefit. They can all benefit from the Forum, whatever the size of the holding they work on. Once the group is more established, the aim is for it to be run by its members with the CNPA providing whatever support it required.”

As well as holding meetings at locations across the Park four to six times a year, it is also hoped that Forum members will go on site visits in the Park and possibly travel abroad to see other farms in operation there.

For more information on the Cairngorms Farmers Forum please contact Gordon McConachie on 01479 870574 / 07525 233710 / [email protected]