It is estimated that in excess of 1,000 people attended the Rural Futures Conference

at the Bladnoch Distillery in the Machars organised by the Heart of Galloway this weekend. (16th & 17th March).

The event was a huge success and I was delighted to be there and invited to take part.

The Heart of Galloway Group, formed barely nine months ago, holds regular meetings and is making a tremendous difference in the area. This weekend's event 'showcasing' and encouraging a huge variety of rural enterprise in an area so devastated by the FMD epidemic, was outstanding.

It was very disappointing that the Minister of Rural Affairs, Ross Finnie, failed to attend and so demonstrate his support for such an energetic and well organised Group. They had gathered together some of the most innovative and successful local business projects and interesting and informative speakers and already have plans for the future and next year!

No one who attended could fail to have been impressed and inspired by what they saw and heard. Well done 'Heart of Galloway' and everyone who took part!

My apologies for this brief note - I hope a more detailed report will follow asap!

Jane