Rare 15-metre whale spotted off the coast of Scotland

They are very rarely seen by humans and are an endangered species.

In early June, tourists on the Scottish island of Lewes from Tiumpan Head Lighthouse spotted the rare seiwhale, also known as the willow whale, swimming nearby in the ocean. These animals were a prime target for whalers until the 1970s and so became rapidly extinct. In 1976, these whales were placed under international protection and are now an endangered species.

It is reported that only about ten sei whales have been sighted off the coast of Scotland in the last 50 years, so the appearance of this whale was a great joy not only for tourists but also for conservationists.

Organize your farming operations online. John Deere combine harvesters are our pride

The pandemic has made its adjustments in the work of all spheres of life, including the agricultural sector. Deputy General Director Mukhtar Nurzhigitov and Chief Agronomist of the Holding Alexander Grinets told about how one of the large agricultural farms “Olja Agro” works.

“For two years we have been implementing digital systems in our work, and in the area of planning, and in the area of production, and control of the activities. On the basis of the department of organizational development we write programs. They are the formation of the structure of sowing areas, coordination, approval, control over the execution of the correctness of the work. In the same system we make and approve work plans. All this can be done remotely, not necessarily to gather people and hold meetings. And what is important – it is very relevant in today’s realities. We develop so-called remote mobility in our employees”.

“We have a good program called ‘Agronomist Protocol’; now all the agronomist’s work is displayed there. No journals, no field history books, just one document – the agronomist’s report. Timeliness and quality of agronomic practices are also monitored there. Right on the phone, based on our plans, we get notification of when the agronomist should be in the field, look at it and upon completion of works go to the field and take the quality of the field work. There is also a program to track the sanitary condition of the fields, pests, diseases, weeds. And through this system last year we started to connect “Mobile warehouse”. We have a mobile warehouse of John Deere spare parts for engineers to control the consumption and balances of inventory. Through the system, they have remotely controlled release of drugs from warehouses, coordinated by fields, by nomenclature. Then we also use these mobile programs to track expenditures and write off funds. Virtually all of our work is now online.

In addition, the general information system this year also included control and revision services. That is, today all employees of the holding work in one program, each in his area.

This year, the agribusiness has emphasized not only online work, but also an increase in the area under winter crops. In 2019, 2,000 hectares of winter crops were planted experimentally. This year, the area has increased significantly. Many thanks to the purchase of new powerful tractors to cultivate the land. We got good conditions, and we bought some John Deere tractors. Initially we tested European seed varieties. In 2020 we showed good results, the average yield was 30 quintals per hectare. This is taking into account the fact that spring crops were at 14 centners per hectare. So for winter crops the result was very good.

Scottish government urges poultry farmers to strengthen farm biosecurity

The Poultry Site, an international industry resource, reports that the Scottish government has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by the highly pathogenic subtype of the H5N1 virus. The bird mortality was registered in the Levan region of the eastern Fife district – on a farm where about 14 thousand pheasants and other game species were raised and subsequently released into the wild. All livestock in the epizootic focus were killed in a humane way. In a protection zone with a radius of three kilometers and a surveillance zone in a 10-kilometer radius around the contaminated site, preventive measures are being taken. There are bans on the movement of eggs, live individuals and poultry meat, the removal of used bedding and droppings from poultry farms. The health service estimates the risk of human exposure to avian influenza A (H5N1) as very low. The outbreak in Levan was the second in the past few months. The previous outbreak of avian influenza, where a virus of another subtype (H5N8) was detected, arose in mid-December 2020 on the island of Sunday in the Orkney archipelago (northeast of Scotland). Scotland’s chief veterinarian, Sheila Voas, has called on farmers, poultry owners and poultry breeders to strengthen biosecurity, noting its vital importance in the current situation. At the slightest sign of a threat to livestock, you should immediately contact the veterinarian, she reminded, and all the necessary practical can be obtained from the offices of the Agency for the Protection of Animal and Plant Health. Scottish poultry farmers are required to follow the rules set out in the order, which entered into force on December 14, 2020: to prevent poultry from contacting wild fauna and to ensure the high biosecurity of farms. Scotland’s Environment and Rural Development Minister Ben Macpherson said the poultry regulation is in line with all UK and EU regulations when an epidemic is threatened. Scots are asked to be vigilant and urgently inform the veterinary service when carcasses of dead birds are found, in no case touching them.

Agatha Christie’s house for sale in Oxfordshire

The vast area covers about two hectares and descends to the Thames

What happened? The house on the banks of the Thames, where the famous writer Agatha Christie lived, appeared on the market for $ 3.8 million, according to Mansion Global. According to a press release from the real estate agency Savills, the detective novelist lived at Winterbrook’s home in Oxfordshire for over 40 years, from 1934 until her death in 1976.

Quote. According to Stephen Christie-Miller, head of sales for Savills Henley, the five-bedroom home offers an opportunity for someone to own a slice of literary history. Christie “wrote several of her bestsellers in this house, and Winterbrook himself is considered a model for Daynemead – the home of Miss Marple in the village of St. Mary Mead.”

Context. The sellers of the house, Gregor Kleinknecht and Karen Holterman, had owned it for 20 years and did not know who it belonged to before entering. The couple bought the house in 2002 for $ 1.7 million.

House. The three-storey mansion has retained many old elements that give it its specific character and charm. It has high ceilings and large sash windows. In addition to five bedrooms, the building has a study, a library and a living room, as well as a kitchen with a pantry and a breakfast room. The master bedroom has a dressing room and a shower room overlooking the garden. There is also a one-bedroom guest cottage adjacent to the main house.

Design team selected for the modernization of Glasgow’s main square

A design contract worth almost DKK 2.3 million is awarded. £ for improvements to Glasgow’s George Square and the surrounding area.

Glasgow City Council has recommended that John McAslan & Partners be awarded the design contract for the George Square Area Project, also known as ‘Block C’ in the £ 115m Avenues Center Program. The work is funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

The tender attracted 91 expressions of interest and 17 submissions, with a shortlist of seven teams going to a final consideration of the criteria of quality and price before John McAslan & Partners was selected with a score of 92.39%. There will now be a period of 10 days before the design contract for the project is awarded.

The project concentrates on the development of a new design for George Square, Glasgow’s most important civic and cultural space. The George Square Area Strategy project will also include George Street and St Vincent Street / Place Avenues as well as John Street, Dundas Street, Dundas Lane and a new pedestrian link from Queen Street Station to Argyle Street that passes through the square, Hanover Street and Miller Street.

The contract award of £ 2,293 million Means the appointment of a consultant and an interdisciplinary team to provide fully staged design services in accordance with RIBA Steps 0-4 (Technical Design Preparation). The team also provides ongoing design and technical support in RIBA steps 5-7, covering the construction period.

Construction is set to begin shortly after the UCI Cycling World Championships in the summer of 2023.

The design strategy will also take into account the results of the public consultation in 2019 on the future of the site. The project will also look at developing a link between George Square and Queen Street Station with adequate public transport, active travel facilities and infrastructure. The scope of work for the project will be determined as the design process progresses, with details to be developed through further analysis and public involvement with stakeholder groups.

Scottish startup to develop large electric SUV

Glasgow-based ATAE to launch Munro Mark 1 SUV with full frame construction and permanent four-wheel drive

Scottish startup ATAE (All Terrain All Electric) from Glasgow is developing a large electric SUV called the Munro Mark 1, which is due to prototype in 2021.

The ATAE Munro Mark 1, which will be based on a classic ladder frame, will receive permanent all-wheel drive, differential locks and a dual-band transfer case.

The SUV will be almost entirely built from existing third-party components. For example, the body and chassis will be provided by Ibex Automotive. The car will be driven by an electric motor developing 215 hp. and 350 Nm of torque.

It will be powered by a 52 kWh battery pack, which will allow it to travel about 240 kilometers without recharging under normal conditions. With the help of a special fast system, the reserve of batteries from 0 to 80% can be replenished in half an hour.

The first running prototype will be prepared towards the end of this year, after which the model will undergo lengthy road tests. The first SUVs are expected to be delivered to customers in 2022. The Scots note that the design of the model provides for various modifications, including a three-axle version with six wheels.

Glasgow’s notorious Bellgrove Hotel on Gallowgate to close after sale to city council

Glasgow City Council have bought the notorious Bellgrove Hotel, a private hostel in the east end of the city.

In October of last year, we reported on the hotel having been put up for sale as a ‘development opportunity’.

The homeless hostel on the Gallowgate was previously likened to a ‘Soviet gulag’, prompting intervention from local politicians after shocking scenes of deprivation were uncovered.

A 2014 Daily Record investigation found occupants were being housed in tiny rooms looking out onto a rat-infested courtyard.

In 2016, MSP John Mason raised a motion signed by 21 members from across the political divide calling for better regulation of the hostel “as a matter of urgency”.

And the council have today announced they have bought the hotel for the site to be developed as part of the ongoing work of the Gallowgate Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA).

Over 50 vulnerable men are to be offered new Glasgow Housing Association homes in a partnership enabled Lowther Homes, a subsidiary of Wheatley Group

New homes have already been built at the eastern end of the area, as part of the Gallowgate Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) project.

The B-listed Bellgrove Hotel was originally built in the 1930s to provide accommodation for working men. In more recent years it became a hostel.

Announcing the move, the council say: “The acquisition was funded by Glasgow City Council (partly with funding from TMDF – Transfer of the Management of Development Funding – which the council manages on behalf of the Scottish Government, and Transforming Communities: Glasgow (TC:G). Transforming Communities: Glasgow – a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association (a part of Wheatley Group) and the Scottish Government – is delivering community and housing-led regeneration at eight locations across the city.

“Staff from Wheatley Care – a Wheatley Group subsidiary – will work with Glasgow‘s Health and Social Care Partnership to help the residents move on from the hostel into modern homes with tailored care and support in place for those who need it. Alternative accommodation with care will be offered to those who need it.

“The site will then form part of the next phase of regeneration of the Gallowgate, driven by TC:G and by local people through a delivery group, with Lowther developing plans for mid-market rent homes as part of that.”

Patrick Flynn, Director of City Development at Glasgow City Council, commented: “The acquisition of the Bellgrove Hotel by the council and our Transforming Communities: Glasgow partners will both allow the regeneration of the Gallowgate and pave the way for the hostel’s residents to move to their own homes and receive the support they need. This is a major step forward in the transformation of an East End neighbourhood, and we can look forward to the local community continuing to play a key role of the development of the area in which they live.”

Bernadette Hewitt, GHA Chair and TC:G Board Member, said: “All of the residents at Bellgrove will be offered the chance of a GHA home or alternative accommodation to meet their needs with support in place to help them settle. At GHA and across Wheatley, we share the vision that everyone should be able, with support, to lead independent lives in their own home and this is very much part of that.

“Wheatley Care will now provide care and support to the residents while helping them move into a new home that fully meets their needs. We’ll work closely with the residents, Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership, and other partners.

“GHA has already built over 200 fantastic new homes in Gallowgate and demolished the old Whitevale and Bluevale multi-storey blocks. The Bellgrove unlocks the potential for us not only to improve the lives of the people currently living in the hostel but also to continue the transformation of the community with a further phase of new affordable housing for local people.”

Pat Togher, Assistant Chief Officer, Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership, added: “We do not use the Bellgrove Hotel as a means of accommodating people who are homeless, however we welcome the opportunity to work closely with residents of the hotel and the Wheatley Group in seeking more permanent accommodation and providing the necessary support for those experiencing complex needs. Glasgow HSCP is familiar with decommissioning arrangements such as the one proposed and will deploy our skilled and experienced workforce ensuring that existing residents transition to more suitable, settled and where necessary supported accommodation ahead of the closure. This is an excellent opportunity to improve the lives of those residing in the Bellgrove and we look forward to working with everyone involved.”

Wheatley Group is working with the Scottish Government, local authority partners and other agencies in a bid to help tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. The Group has already provided 200 homes to Housing First, the multi-agency partnership set up with the aim of giving homeless people a tenancy and support to rebuild their lives.

Kelvin Properties hails ’signal of intent’ as Andrew Duncan joins from CALA Homes

Glasgow urban developer Kelvin Properties has laid the foundations for the next phase of its ambitious growth plans with the appointment of a high-profile director.

Andrew Duncan has been appointed land director, leaving the same role at CALA Homes where he cemented his reputation within the industry by delivering urban projects including the 101-flat Mansionhouse Road development in Shawlands, and the 203 unit Pacific Quay site by the River Clyde.

The appointment is central to Kelvin Properties founder Stephen McKechnie’s ambitious plans to cement the firm’s reputation as one of Scotland’s leading quality residential developers.

Mr McKechnie, managing director at Kelvin Properties, said: “Andrew brings a wealth of experience to Kelvin Properties and will play a key role in the next exciting chapter for the business.

“To attract a director with his talent, ability and proven track shows how far Kelvin Properties has come over the past 20 years. I am delighted he shares our vision for placing the firm at the forefront of upmarket urban development in Scotland.

“In the modern marketplace, it is vital to be in a position to act on potential development sites quickly, and the addition of Andrew strengthens our ability to do just that in a number of areas.

“As an agile and forward-thinking developer, we are able to provide clear points of contact and more direct lines of communication, meaning necessary changes can be made faster which provides more scope for the communities we work within to have genuine influence.”

Mr Duncan, who is responsible for all the firm’s land and planning activity in his new role, said: “It is a privilege to join such an exciting and ambitious business, and I look forward to making a real impact on future projects across Scotland.

“Kelvin Properties is an ambitious and entrepreneurial business that is well financed with lots of experience and a great track record.

“I am delighted to add my own experience to that mix and can’t wait to get started in this next chapter for myself and the business. I share Stephen’s ambitious vision for growing the business to become a major player within Scotland’s urban areas.”

West End-based Kelvin Properties has a proven track record of delivering major projects across the city and its surrounding areas, including the multi-million-pound transformation of the former Broomhill Public School into a 68-apartment development at The Atrium.

The firm is also responsible for two of Glasgow’s recent build-to-rent developments including the 36-apartment development at Candleriggs Court in the Merchant City, and the 20-unit development Mitchell Apartments at Finnieston.

Glasgow’s council pledges £10.5m for hydrogen-powered bin lorries

GLASGOW is set to have the largest fleet of hydrogen-powered bin lorries in the world after councillors agreed a £10.5 million funding package.

The council will buy 19 hydrogen refuse collection vehicles, using £7m from a climate emergency fund.

It is part of plans to push forward the council’s ambition for a fleet of zero-emission vehicles.

Two electric minibuses will be purchased with £420,000 from SP Energy Networks.

And Transport Scotland has provided £200,000 for batteries, which will capture power generated by solar panels set to be installed on Duke Street car park. It has also supplied £290,000 for charging points.

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More than £2.5m of Smart Cities Scotland funding will be used on smart technology, to support the management of the fleet, including fuel and waste systems.

It is hoped the council’s commitment to hydrogen will encourage other fleet operators to reduce carbon emissions.

Over 100 new electric cars have already been delivered to the council and work is underway to convert 20 smaller lorries to dual fuel hydrogen.

George Gillespie, an executive director at the council, said decarbonising the council’s fleet was “vital” to plans to be carbon neutral by 2030.

“We have taken tremendous strides with the implementation of our zero-emissions fleet strategy,” he added.

“Glasgow is now very much at the forefront of changes that aim to remove carbon from our transport system.

“We can see the market responding to the lead the council is taking and it was always our aim to use the council’s size and status to build confidence that wider change is possible.”

He continued: “Committing to using hydrogen for our heavier vehicles was always a big breakthrough in our approach to decarbonising our fleet.

“I am particularly pleased that such significant investment is being made in modernising our cleansing service with the purchase of 19 hydrogen-powered refuse vehicles.

“The technology we are introducing into our vehicles will also help make our services as effective and efficient as possible and will ensure we are best placed to meet the challenges of the climate emergency.”

10-bedroom west end property with bathtub in every room now on the market for £1.15m

The Alamo is a currently a stunning guest house – but if you happen to have plenty of cash to spare, it could be a spectacular family home.

One of Glasgow’s most spectacular properties has now officially got an asking price…but it’s still just the tiniest bit outside our budget.

Plenty of you are already familiar with the the 10-bedroom property, currently known as The Alamo guest house perched on the edge of Kelvingrove Park and trendy Finnieston.

But now, the opportunity has arisen to be the proud owner of the incredible property – with a standalone bathtub in every single one of its 10 bedrooms.

Of course you could always keep it as guest house…but it’s hard not to indulge those king-in-the-castle fantasies.

One of Glasgow’s most spectacular properties has now officially got an asking price…but it’s still just the tiniest bit outside our budget.

Plenty of you are already familiar with the the 10-bedroom property, currently known as The Alamo guest house perched on the edge of Kelvingrove Park and trendy Finnieston.

But now, the opportunity has arisen to be the proud owner of the incredible property – with a standalone bathtub in every single one of its 10 bedrooms.

Of course you could always keep it as guest house…but it’s hard not to indulge those king-in-the-castle fantasies.