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Portnellan Farm wins final NEWBIE Award for Innovative New Entrants

Chris Scott-Park, of Portnellan Farm, on the banks of Loch Lomond, has been chosen as the winner of the final NEWBIE UK award for New Entrant of the Year for 2021. Originally a successful organic beef business and winners of the James Hutton Institute’s Best Soil in Show 2015 award, Portnellan Farm now features a thriving water sports business set up by Chris, with facilities available to visitors of the popular Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park area.

Hutton experts give evidence to parliamentary session on challenges facing Scotland’s islands

Dr Ruth Wilson and Dr Jonathan Hopkins, social scientists within the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department, have contributed evidence to a session of the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee of the Scottish Parliament on the challenges facing Scotland's islands communities.

Barley scientists of the future get £9m boost

The next generation of barley researchers have received a multi-million investment through the Barley Industrial Training Network (BARIToNE) programme, a Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) led by the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, the International Barley Hub at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee, with support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and industry partners.

Dopplerite samples gifted to Scotland's National Soil Archive

The National Soil Archive of Scotland, held at the Aberdeen campus of the James Hutton Institute, has added two large samples of Dopplerite to its collection by gift of the executors of Mr William Filshie. Dopplerite is a naturally occurring, but relatively rare, organic material associated with peat deposits. It is a jelly-like, brownish substance related to humic acids that is insoluble in water and, if dried, it initially becomes brittle and eventually becomes as hard as coal.

Hutton bioinformatics support BOLD action for future food security and climate resilience

Bioinformaticians at the James Hutton Institute are supporting a 10-year, US$58m initiative launched by the Crop Trust and the Government of Norway to improve global food security and climate resilience.

The newly announced BOLD (Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development) project seeks to safeguard crop diversity in gene banks, and facilitate its use by breeders, smallholder farmers and researchers to develop new crop varieties. This is an essential first step to secure a sufficient, healthy food supply for all.

James Hutton Institute welcomes Defra announcement on gene editing

The James Hutton Institute has welcomed plans unveiled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to pave the way to enable use of gene editing technologies in England.

Gene editing can unlock benefits to nature, the environment and help farmers with crops to enhance resilience to pests, disease or extreme weather.

Urban greenspace benefits deprived and ethnic minority communities

While urban greenspace is often associated with improved mental health, new research has found these benefits are dependent on the characteristics of the population using the space, and their proximity to it.

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) looked at the link between greenspace and prescription rates to treat mental health disorders across all Scottish towns with more than 10,000 residents.

Hutton research team install UK's northernmost peatland GHG monitoring station

An all-female team of scientists from the James Hutton Institute travelled to Shetland to install the most northerly micrometeorological station in the UK to monitor greenhouse gas emissions from eroded peatland.

The station, set up on a site near Girlsta, will gather extremely high-frequency data for wind speed/direction, carbon dioxide and methane emissions from the peatland, as well as a large suite of weather and other data, including solar radiation, precipitation, humidity, soil and air temperature and water table depth.

Future proofing your business: Women farmers from across Europe to exchange experiences

Agricultural resilience is critical across Europe, but how can individual farms ensure they are ‘future proofed’? This question will be at the centre of an international online event to be held on Tuesday 21st September (8 – 9.15 pm), co-hosted by Women in Agriculture Scotland and the EU-funded NEFERTITI and NEWBIE research projects, both supported by the James Hutton Institute.

Hutton expertise contributes to Lords inquiry into nature-based solutions for climate change

Dr Rebekka Artz, a senior research scientist within the James Hutton Institute’s Ecological Sciences department, has contributed evidence to an inquiry by the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Lords into the role of nature-based solutions in mitigating climate change.


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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.