Smallholding Scotland 2015 Conference

Smallholding Scotland is a brand new conference event for 2015, taking place at Huntingtower Hotel in Perth on Friday 13th February and organised by Smallholder Events Scotland supported by Zero Waste Scotland. It is an all-day event with refreshments and lunch included in the ticket price of £25. The conference is a great opportunity for smallholders to:

  • Meet up to discuss issues of importance to them
  • Learn from experts across a range of topics related to smallholding and small-scale food production
  • Enjoy a bit of smallholder chat and socialising before the days get longer and outdoor tasks start to take priority.

The programme

The conference has a single stream, providing six presentations in all throughout the day.

Registration and refreshments start at 9:30am with the first sessions starting at 9:45am. The conference will close at 4:00pm. The full programme:

9:15 – Registration

9:45 – Using wormers for maximum effectiveness & efficiency – SRUC

Not only are wormers expensive, but issues of effectiveness are much to the fore. As a new season approaches, Caroline Robinson of Scotland’s Rural College will explain how we can best use wormers to maximise effectiveness, improve animal health while reducing both costs and the risk of resistance.

10:30 – Refreshments

10:45 – Getting the best from your soil – Soil Association

Lyn White from the Soil Association will be talking about getting the best from your soil, including grass and forage, soil analysis, soil testing and the use of clover.

  • The most vital asset on your small holding. Soil: a precious natural resource.
  • The importance of knowing what you have got
  • Soil assessment: both visual and chemical analysis
  • How this directly influences grass productivity.
  • How introducing clover can provide multiple benefits.

Lyn White, Agricultural Development Manager, Soil Association Scotland has worked for Soil Association Scotland for 12 years. Lyn is the first port of call for those thinking of converting to organic production and assisting those who are already organic, alongside running the Future Proofing Scotland’s Farming events all over Scotland and being a member of the Scottish Organic Forum.

11:30 – Polytunnel success

“The Hungry Gap” – that period between the exhaustion of stored vegetables and the new spring crop – a time when smallholders start to think about a polytunnel. A polytunnel is a great way of extending the growing season at both ends but it’s a big investment for the smallholder so careful planning proper to purchase and installation can help avoid expensive mistakes.

Smallholding Scotland is delighted to welcome Mr Jim Williams, Honorary President of the National Vegetable Society in Scotland, to share his knowledge and experience of choosing a polytunnel, selecting and preparing a site, erecting the tunnel and setting the project up for success.

12:15 – Lunch

13:00 – Smallholders and CAP reform in Scotland – Scottish Government

David Imlay of The Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspection Division will be on hand to explain the impact of CAP reform in Scotland, with relevance to smallholders, covering the Basic Payment Scheme eligibility and compliance requirements, and the application procedure.

13:45 – Small Farm Grant Scheme – Scottish Government

Up-to-date information on the new Small Farm Grant Scheme and the wider Scottish Rural Development Programme, from Alan Hendry, Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspection Division.

14:30 – Refreshments

14:45 – Neo-natal lamb care – Scottish Rural Colleges

Many of us will be thinking about lambing: the success of sheep-keeping can be measured by the survival rates of lambs. This timely session will focus on neo-natal lamb care – Caroline Robinson, Veterinary Investigation Officer with SRUC, will be outlining how the best care in the neo-natal period can enhance survival and future performance of your lambs. Scotland’s Rural College will also be presenting a session on the use of wormers for maximum effectiveness and efficiency – see below.

15:30 – Plenary & discussion

An opportunity for delegates, speakers and the organisers to raise points for discussion arising during th day, ask questons, and provide feedback on the event.

16:00 – Close

Other speakers will be confirmed soon. We are expecting a number of relevant organisations to attend to provide information and advice for smallholders going into the new year.

The venue

The 2015 conference is being held at Huntingtower Hotel in Perth.

Buy tickets online

Tickets are on sale now priced £25. Payment by debit card, credit card or PayPal account. NB: Last date for online orders is Wednesday 11th February 2015.

Order tickets online now