Skip to navigation Skip to content

“Magic margins” win Innovation Award at RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards

Magic margins win at Nature of Scotland Awards (c) James Hutton Institute
“Competition for these awards is always strong and we are honoured, as a leading LEAF Innovation Centre, to win and be formally recognised by the RSPB Nature of Scotland awards for developing our ‘magic margins’

A practical ‘magic margins’ solution to soil erosion devised by the James Hutton Institute’s Farm, Field & Glasshouse team won the Innovation Award at the RSPB Nature of Scotland 2016 Awards prizegiving ceremony, held at the Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh with more than 200 guests in attendance. The Innovation award is presented to the most innovative project, initiative, practice, or technique that has aided nature conservation.

The ‘magic margins’ consist of a system of barriers created across the bottom of a sloping field with a potato drill plough and tied ridging machine. The barriers are then sown in a wildflower/grass seed mix with the purpose of holding irrigation and rainwater on sloping fields and helping prevent soil and nutrients being washed off, plus additional benefits such as discouraging drivers from venturing into field margins as well as preventing hare coursing. The margins have now been extended all the way round the Institute’s arable farms.

Euan Caldwell, Head of Farms, Field and Glasshouse facilities at the James Hutton Institute, said: “Our ‘magic margins’ are an answer to a straightforward question: could we do more to help safeguard our soil? We needed a simple solution; easy to do with equipment we had at hand, low cost, yet permanent and, at the same time, not compromise anything else we were trying to do regarding science or habitat.

“I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Farm, Field and Glasshouses staff, who developed these ‘magic margins’. The margins are now integrated into our farming system, as part of our LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) principles.

“Competition for these awards is always strong and we are honoured, as a leading LEAF Innovation Centre, to win and be formally recognised by the RSPB Nature of Scotland awards for developing our ‘magic margins’”.

The prizegiving ceremony also saw the James Hutton Institute present the Food and Farming Award to Future Farming Scotland, a programme run by the Soil Association Scotland that works with farmers and crofters to transform the way we produce food and care for the natural world, by using organic farming practices which work in harmony with nature to deliver multiple environmental benefits for people and the planet.

The Real Junk Food Project Edinburgh, part of a network of cafés across the UK and beyond which intercepts food that would otherwise go to landfill and use it to prepare dishes for their communities, was distinguished as Highly Commended entry in the Food and Farming category.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/%E2%80%9Cmagic-margins%E2%80%9D-win-innovation-award-rspb-nature-scotland-awards on 22/07/19 09:46:28 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.