Minutes of RAW Meeting 8th December 2016

Minutes of RAW meeting 8
th December 2016
Present: Sarah King (RAW Project Assistant), Peter Norman (DGC), Steven Gillespie (Univ of Glasgow), Chris Stones (RAT)
Apologies – Peter Dreghorn (RAW Chairman), Tony Donnelly (RAT), Jackie Galley (SEPA)

• CS advised that TD was unable to attend due to other commitments, particularly the wild fisheries review.
• The River Annan District Salmon Fishery Board is currently going through a redundancy process which is taking up some of TDs time and will mean reduced resources going forward.

Funding Update & Plan B
• SK provided an update on funding applications for the project.
• SSE funding application was unsuccessful and will need to look for an alternative. This covered half of the project expenses.
• PN suggested that requesting feedback might be useful as none was given.
• HLF application has been submitted and SK advised that there would be a response by the 19th December 2016.
• Magnox also have funding opportunities as identified by Peter Dreghorn. After positive discussions with Magnox about the project an application for funding was submitted on 2nd December 2016. SK advised that it might be a while before we hear back from them.
• An application to the Holywood Trust will be submitted after Christmas. SG agreed to speak to the Holywood Trust to assist/support the application.
• CS suggested that the Annandale & Eskdale Area Committee Grant might also be an option.
• SK & CS advised that without funding and with the redundancy situation it will be difficult for the RAT to maintain the RAW position in 2017.

RAW Activities
• SK has been following up on landowner surveys and has visited some of the landowners that have completed it
• The Wild Trout Trust visited a site on the Annan Water and produced a report on bankside erosion and suggestions for improvements
• Peter Dreghorn has sourced some trees (Alder/Willow) from Moffat Nature Reserve and PD and SK spent a morning removing some from the reserve for use in the RAW project
• SK advised that the site on the Annan Water (mentioned above) is one possible location for the trees. This site contains horses and landowner is considering an electric fence to restrict their access to the riparian zone.
• PN suggested that an electric fence may be cheaper initially but would be more costly in the long term. SK stated that if funding is successful then RAW project may be able to help with fencing issue.
• PN indicated that the Forestry Commission have offered the use of a drone but suggested that we would need to have a specific purpose for its use for it to be worthwhile.
• SK has contacted schools about the Eels in the classroom element to RAW and received 4 responses. Also been in touch with the Sustainable Eel Group about supplying Eels for the project.

Land based agreements
• PN highlighted that the Beattock Forestry Land Management Plan proposed to plant/improve riparian planting and had identified riparian zones.
• SK was aware of this plan and indicated that PD suggested FES could become a RAW partner.
• Borders Forest Trust (Corehead) are interested in the RAW project but are limited by funding and SRDP restrictions.
• SK indicated that the National Trust for Scotland might renew their interest in the project and TD will speak to Castle Milk Estates.
• SK advised that Crown Estates had been contacted but no response yet. PN suggested contacting Mike Libera.
• Annandale Estates have indicated that they are interested on work being done on their land, although specific sites have not yet been identified. It may be possible to begin tree planting with trees from Moffat Nature Reserve.
• SG suggested that students from University of Glasgow would volunteer to help with tree planting.
• SG and PN agreed that the response from landowners sounds positive.

Moffat Community Nature Reserve
• Already discussed in previous agenda item

Presentations to communities
• SK gave a presentation at a SEPA organised event.
• SK indicated that SEPA are organising a meeting of landowners in Annandale and have suggested SK attend.
• Future presentations to be given at Lockerbie Wildlife Trust.
• SG suggested the Lowther Hills Natural History Club might be interested in attending a presentation.

Native Status of Beavers in Scotland
• PN gave an update on this announcement. Although beavers have been designated as native there is not enough detail to clarify exactly what this means. Native to the areas they currently resident native to Scotland.

Next meeting to be confirmed.