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Galloway man talks about his foraging success

A man from Galloway man has had so much success showing people what they can and cannot eat in nature that he has given up his day job to do it full time.

Mark Williams now runs Galloway Wild Foods, taking people out and about in woods around the area.

"It's free food, what could be better?

"But it's free food that's in season and organic, that you've picked yourself, no big company is making the decision for you, you're making the decision for you about what you eat, when you eat it, how you eat it, and you know exactly what's gone into it as long as you pick mindfully ... so it's really lovely and it just adds another dimension to a walk.

"Get out in the wilds, there's free stuff, delicious stuff, interesting stuff, beautiful stuff, it's around us all the time and it's just a question of tuning into it."

– Mark Williams


Future of Solway Firth discussed

The Solway Coasts Credit: ITV Border

Action is being taken to sort out the growing problem of invasive species that are threatening native wildlife in the Solway. A species of shelfish called the Pacific Oyster has been found in several locations. It is intensively farmed along the coast of Scotland and is thought to have escaped.

An area of the Solway Coast Credit: ITV Border

There is also damaging non-native plants including wireweed and cordgrass.New legislation has come into effect this year which gives authorities on both sides of the Solway the power to prosecute fishermen or anyone else who does not comply with strict bio-security rules.

At a conference held by The Solway Firth Partnership, bio-diversity expert Sarah Brown from the Firth of Cylde Forum said that climate change and invasive species were the two major threats to Scotland's native marine environment.

Fishermen Credit: ITV Border

On top of new legislation, the Solway's new Coastal Ranger Nic Coombey is asking landowners to look out for the Pacific Oyster and any examples will be noted and destroyed. The Pacific Oyster is larger than native varieties and the risk is that they could desimate local beds.

The confrence at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries also heard from the chairman of the Solway Firth Partnership, Gordan Mann. The partnership has responsibility for both the English and Scottish sides of the Solway.

Walker on the beach along the Solway Coast Credit: ITV Border

Mr Mann said the biggest challenge for businesses operating around the Solway was to co-ordinate and co-operate more in the future.

Planning law is different on both sides of the border so it is vital that organisations with an interest in the Solway maintain open communication, he added.


World record attempt is blooming hard work

Record breakers? an army of volunteers plant some of the 100,000 daffodil bulbs Credit: ITV News

An army of volunteers is trying to break a World record at Lowther Castle, near Penrith.

Around five hundred hardy souls, aged from two to 85, signed up to help plant 100,000 daffodil bulbs.

If they succeed it will be the most daffodil bulbs planted in one go.

River project awarded

A conservation project to improve the quality of the River Petteril in Carlisle has won a national award.

The River Petteril was once renowned for its trout fishing, but recently was identified by the Environment Agency as being "poor" in terms of water quality and its fish populations.

Pollution was identified as a major problem, arising from various sources such as farms, roads, inadequate sewage systems and domestic septic tanks.

Working with farmers much of the focus was on reducing how much animal waste was washed in to watercourses and improving drainage and guttering.

More than 5km of river bank has been fenced to prevent farm animals from reaching the river. More than 2,000 trees have been planted along the river to stabilise the banks and allow more wildlife to feed and breed in the river.

Barriers that stopped fish migrating upstream have been improved.

"We are delighted to have received this award, which recognises the achievements and benefits of this collaborative way of working. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic support and commitment of the local farming community.

"The project will benefit all those concerned with the river and its surroundings, and make it a better place for people and wildlife."

– Simon Johnson, Director of Eden Rivers Trust
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