Following a call from Drew Sloan, Chief Agricultural Officer, on behalf of Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead, Chief Executive Douglas McAdam joined a series of emergency planning discussions this week focused on the severe difficulties being experienced by our farming sector and rural communities in Arran, Argyll and Dumfries & Galloway due to the extreme weather and consequential problems.
The immediate requirement was for tracked snow capable vehicles and operators - not normal farming kit. The estates sector of course possess such vehicles with trained operators and soon Scottish Land & Estates members from across Scotland were answering the call for assistance from our Regional Managers.
Within a few hours a list of available Hagglunds, Scot Traks and snow bikes was with the Scottish Government. By yesterday evening the first Hagglunds was enroute to be on the first ferry to Arran this morning to help our farming colleagues at such a difficult time.
And, by lunchtime today it was confirmed by Drew Sloan that sufficient vehicles had currently been lined up.
Further emergency planning meetings are scheduled to review progress and any additional requirements.
Thanks go to all members who helped in this call for assistance by stepping forward with available kit and machinery and passing information to colleagues and others within the sector who could potentially assist.