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In brief – 18 March, 2010

Bid go big

Shetland band Fiddlers’ Bid are about to embark on one of their largest ever UK tours to celebrate their new award winning album.

The All Dressed in Yellow Tour begins in the Sage, Gateshead on 1 April before taking in Hawick, Inverness, Keswick, Islay, Giffnock nr. Glasgow, Stirling, Perth and Aberdeen before rounding off in the Queen’s Hall Edinburgh on Sunday 11 April.

Band member Chris Stout said: “We are really excited to be out on tour again, never more so following the success of our new album. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to it and now we’re looking forward to performing the music to audiences around the country in April.”

Full information on how to obtain tickets is available on line from all the venues, together with the Fiddlers Bid website at and Atlantic Edge Music at


StAnza 2010

THREE Shetland poets will be taking part in the world renowned StAnza poetry festival, in St Andrews this month.

The sold out event, which features Nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney, will also see performances from Christine de Luca, Lise Sinclair and Christie Williamson.

Also appearing at the festival will be Shetland resident Jen Hadfield, whose second collection Nigh No Place won the TS Eliot Prize in 2008. She will give two readings on Sunday 21March at 11.30am in St Mary’s Hall and at 2.15pm in the Undercroft.

More information is available at


MSP praises peatland project

HIGHLANDS and islands MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed a decision by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to base a major inquiry into the importance of peatlands in Scotland.

The IUCN, which is made up of governments, environmental groups and scientists, has said that Scotland’s peatlands are as important as the South American  rainforests in absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.

The organisation said that if the Scottish government invested in restoring and expanding 600,000 hectares of peatland a year, they could remove 2.4 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere by 2015, saving £47 million in carbon damage.

The IUCN is working with Scottish Natural Heritage on raising awareness about the importance of peat with its UK Peatland Programme and Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands.

Good news from Brussels?

MEPS yesterday talked up the outcome of a meeting of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, saying it spelt good news for the Scottish industry.

Two key reports were passed after a three hour voting session, which included measures to link Less Favoured Area payments to active farming; to protect rural development budgets; and to acknowledge handicaps in remote areas.

The Ashworth report agreed an amnesty for three years on cross compliance penalties under the controversial new electronic identification (EID) regulations. The vote went through despite a breakdown in the Parliament’s electronic voting system.