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Friends of The Scotsman

Charlotte Johnson: Botanics pushes the boat out with shoreline exhibition

From the Forth bridges and Queensferry to the beaches of Portobello and ­Joppa, Edinburgh’s coastline communities have a proud heritage of distinct social and cultural traditions where a sense of community has endured.

Opinion
Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal of Heriot-Watt University

Richard Williams and Bob Keiller: We need to work together to deliver inclusive, innovation-led growth in Scotland

Scotland has exciting, innovative businesses and world class universities. However, our growth rates are not yet what they need to be.

Opinion
Sydney Chasin, founder of lil'POP

Edward Cunningham: Unlocking Ambition programme a route for entrepreneurs 
to realise aspirations

The Commercialisation Inquiry of 1996, which included Scottish Enterprise and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), concluded that a mechanism was needed to enable the commercialisation of the excellent research being carried out in Scottish universities and research institutes. Hence, the Enterprise Fellowship programme was created and began in 1997.

Opinion
Gary Donaldson is Head of Product at Mllar & Bryce

Gary Donaldson: Inhibitions and insolvencies can lead to deeds disasters

Buried in amongst the many critical checks that solicitors will instruct as part of the conveyancing process is a search of what most will know as the personal register or the Register of Inhibitions (RoI).

Opinion 3
Graham Rankine (gamekeeper, Whitburgh Farms), Alastair Salvesen (owner, Whitburgh Farms), Dave Parish (GWCT) and Ross MacLeod (GWCT). Picture: Keith Cowieson

Dr Dave Parish: Big Farmland Bird Count can tell us a lot

The Game & Wildlife Trust Big Farmland Bird Count takes place every year in February. For this survey GWCT encourages farmers, gamekeepers and land managers to spend just 30 minutes in one day that month noting what birds they see over the ground they manage and their approximate numbers.

Opinion 2
Vicki Swales, Head of Land Use Policy, RSPB Scotland

Vicki Swales: Farming policy a field to look at in climate change plans

Whether viewed from a global or Scottish standpoint, we face twin environmental challenges – preventing climate change and halting the loss of wildlife.

Opinion 2
Alex Nairn, Trustee of Elie Estate.

Alex Nairn: Looking forward to more baby buntings

Scottish estate managers have a wide list of responsibilities – from managing holiday lets, to creating new social housing developments, to ensuring land is being managed – both by ­ourselves and by our tenant farmers – in an environmentally ­efficient way.

Opinion
Senior pupils on challenging Outward Bound courses can learn many 'soft' skills which will be of use in the world of work, while future employers can also help with active mentoring and even taking part

Bound to succeed – getting youngsters and employers outdoors together

In Scotland, our government has done much to facilitate and encourage the education sector to equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to flourish once they enter the working world. Initiatives such as Developing the Young Workforce bring together schools and employers in working partnerships to encourage and deliver learning opportunities.

Opinion
Lesley McLeod, CEO ' The Association for Project Safety.

Lesley McLeod: Why don’t we design houses to give granny a family home?

We’re none of us ­getting any younger so, when I moved back to ­Edinburgh, I chose as far as ­possible to future-proof my life by buying a ­new-build flat close to the centre.

Opinion 3
Gordon Jackson QC is Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Advocates www.faculty.org.uk

Gordon Jackson: Welcome to the world of ‘mini-devils’

It’s good to talk, as the telephone ads used to tell us, and aspiring advocates of the future might have good reason to be thankful for a casual chinwag between a student and one of our members.

Opinion
Malcolm Mackay is the chairman of United Employment Lawyers, an Edinburgh-based organisation of independent UK law firms that work in collaboration on all legal matters related to the workplace and employment law.

Malcolm Mackay: Technology does matter, but having an understanding relationship with clients matters more

Beyond reasonable doubt, the highest profile legal figure in the news is the fictitious Rachel Zane, of Suits, the massively popular American television series about vertiginous corporate lawyers. Of course, its star, Meghan Markle, is preparing to marry Prince Harry at Windsor Castle on 19 May with around 600 guests at the ceremony.

Opinion
Andrew Paterson - Murray Beith Murray

Andrew Paterson: Your name, your choice: it’s a matter of declaration

There is no doubt that your name can give you a sense of identity, with some being of the view that your name can even be a reflection of your personality to which you grow into from birth.

Opinion
Pauline Hinchion, Scottish Communities Finance

Pauline Hinchion: Make money work for communities with bond scheme

The political noise about the closures of banks, often the only ones left in communities, has been getting louder recently.

Opinion
While making buildings more energy-efficient, industry is ignoring the environmental cost of putting them up in the first place, says  Dr Francesco Pomponi

Dr Francesco Pomponi: Building is not sustainable and must change

BUILDINGS are responsible for around half the world’s energy consumption, man-made greenhouse gas emissions, resource consumption and waste generation.

Opinion
John Donnelly, chief executive, Marketing Edinburgh

To Infinity and beyond – Capital’s great reputation is soaring ever higher

Here at Marketing Edinburgh, we are cheerleaders of the city, and with a mountain of accolades, including recently being voted the ‘best place to live and work’ in the UK in a survey commissioned by Royal Mail, ­championing the Capital is one of the easier tasks that we undertake.

Opinion
Michael Doran, Head of Research, Planning and Brand, Sainsbury's Bank and Chair of Marketing Society Scotland

Michael Doran: The customer is always right

It’s fair to say we live in a time of uncertainty. Economies, companies and jobs are no longer as stable and secure as they once were. Much has been written about how organisations can ­navigate these uncertainties to drive sustainable growth. There are many ways to centre a business and many capabilities within an organisation that help support growth.

Opinion
John Casserly, Mental Health and Money Advice Adviser

John Casserly: Money’s too tight to mention for many with mental health issues

I remember the first person I supported through Mental Health and Money Advice. Meg (not her real name) rang up as she was feeling very anxious and frightened at the thought of going through the assessment process for the disability benefit Personal Independence Payment, to help her cope with her severe mental and physical health difficulties.

Opinion
Graham Boyack, Director, Scottish Mediation

Graham Boyack: Mediation really talks the talk in solving disputes

The Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament held a round table discussion on the availability of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which includes mediation in Scotland. Scottish Mediation was delighted to be one of the organisations giving evidence and participating.

Opinion
Rev Iain May is chair of Castle Community Bank

Reverend Iain May: In the free market US, credit interest rates are capped - why not here?

The media is awash with messages that talk up the benefits of a healthy ­lifestyle and looking after our physical wellbeing. However, our mental and financial health is just as important, and the spotlight is rarely shone on these factors which can have a ­profound effect on peoples’ lives.

Opinion 1
Dr Steven Mackinson says that the days are gone when scientists and fishermen were at loggerheads over the state of fish stocks

Dr Steven Mackinson: Industry helping scientists find out if there are plenty more fish in the sea

Good governance of our ­fisheries is essential if we are to ensure a sustainable future – but to manage stocks effectively we need as much scientific information as possible about their status and current trends.

But this costs money and resources – something which is inevitably ­limited. The end-result is that if our knowledge of a particular fish stock is scant, then poor management ­decisions are made, which is bad for the stock, and bad for fishermen and society as a whole.

Opinion
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