The National Land Use Strategy (LUS) seeks a more integrated approach to land management decision making, in recognition of the increasing number of pressures and demands placed upon the countryside.
The Scottish Borders LUS pilot aims to develop a map based tool and Framework. The tool will be hosted on the Scottish Borders Council website. The background framework will be no-statutory and non-regulatory.
The LUS involves widespread stakeholder engagement. The LUS approach records the Scottish Borders natural assets/capital resource in map format and identifies where opportunities might exist for the enhancement and expansion of particular ecosystem service functions.
Stakeholders have identified 7 land use priorities for opportunity mapping: i.e. food production, native woodland expansion, timber production, flood water management, areas for biodiversity enhancement, soil carbon storage and diffuse pollution control.
Areas where multiple ecosystem benefits can be achieved (and where constraints may arise) are also being mapped.
An explanatory Land Use Strategy pilot Framework is being drafted to sit alongside the mapping tool. It is intended for use by anyone involved in land management decision making and their advisors. The developing Framework could be used to help target future Scottish Rural Development Programme priorities.
The LUS pilot is due to report to Scottish Government in March 2015. The findings will be used by the Scottish Government to inform the National Land Use Strategy for the period 2016-2021.