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Farmers' union calls for Chinese lantern ban

Sky lanterns can pose a fire risk. Credit: PA

The union for farmers in Scotland is calling on local authorities to ban Chinese lanterns ahead of Bonfire Night on 5 November.

The lanterns (also known as sky lanterns) are made from paper held together with a wooden or wire frame, and the NFUS says they are a fire hazard, and can scare livestock.

They are also urging people setting off fireworks to take consideration of animals in the area.

The union says eight local authorities have already banned the use of Chinese lanterns, and that it will contact the remaining authorities, including Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council, to urge them to do so.


New project to preserve Herdwick sheep

Herdwick Sheep Credit: Press Association

A scheme to help protect and preserve the famous Herdwick sheep breed gets underway this autumn.

The Herdwick Sheep Breeders' Association,The Herdy Company and Newton Rigg College have joined forces with a mission to complete the breed's gene bank which was started during the 2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic by The SheepTrust.

The new initiative will help to ensure the long term protection and survival of the breed.

Six pure bred ewes from fell farms across the county have been brought to Sewborwens Farm at Newton Rigg College where their embryos will be collected under a closely monitored eight-week programme. These will then be frozen and stored in The Sheep Trust Heritage Gene Bank Archive.

"The importance of this initiative cannot be over-estimated as we work to extend the Herdwick Gene Bank with good examples of the breed from proper fell going sheep. Our aim is to ensure the protection of the breed should a future catastrophe occur, such as Foot and Mouth, where numbers are either reduced or wiped out.

"Although there are Herdwicks elsewhere in the country, these sheep are locally adapted to the breed's home county and represent the most characteristic fell type."

– Amanda Carson, Secretary of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders' Association

D&G young farmers ready for bale art final

For the past week Dumfries and Galloway young farmers have been showing off their artistic skills in the form of bale art.

All six of the region's young farmers clubs have taken part in this year's competition, with the winner making it through to the west of Scotland final.

They hope the competition will raise the profile of young farmers clubs in the south of Scotland.

Lori Carnochan reports:


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