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Press Releases

The Heather Trust occasionally publishes press releases for the media and other interested parties. Below you will find our official statements and any relevant links or assets for each release. These can be reproduced without restriction. Please credit the Heather Trust for images unless otherwise stated.

For all press enquiries, please contact Amy Smith.

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Global interest in Aberdeen wildfire event

LEADING lights from the world of wildfire have been announced as speakers at this year’s UK Wildfire Conference to be held in Aberdeen.


Keynote addresses will be given by Marc Castellnou, Commander in the Catalan Fire Service; Prof Tiago Oliveira, Agency for Integrated Rural Fire Management; Val Charlton, Landworks South Africa; Francesca Osowska, NatureScot; and Jim Savege, Aberdeenshire Council.


Alongside the keynote speakers, the event will feature presentations from sector experts from Norway, Switzerland, The Netherlands and France as well as ‘home-grown’ specialists such as Sarah Baker of the University of Exeter, Douglas Kelley of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Robin Pakeman of the James Hutton Institute, Cathy Smith of the University of London, Andreas Heinemeyer from the University of York and Tia Crouch of The National Trust.


The impressive line-up of speakers, researchers and resilience experts was announced this week by the conference host, The Scottish Wildfire Forum, together with event facilitators The Heather Trust.


To be held at P&J Live on 12 and 13 November, day one will focus on the global perspective regarding wildfire and its mitigation, while day two will centre around tackling these issues in the UK. Break-out sessions will be held over the course of the two-day event allowing delegates to benefit from a wealth of interesting talks and interactive discussion. Exhibitors, poster submissions, a dinner and pre-conference site visit will add to the highly anticipated event which is already attracting delegates from around the globe.


Still to be announced is the Scottish Government minister who will officially open the conference which will explore the theme of “Resilience in a Changing World”. The conference will acknowledge the challenges (and opportunities) that the climate emergency, land use change, emerging science and the behaviours, expectations and attitudes of the public bring to an already complex situation.


The event is expected to draw in 300 delegates who will come from a diversity of backgrounds and interest groups and will appeal not just to firefighters, but also land managers, regulatory and enforcement agencies, academics, environmental groups, community leaders, planners and more.


More information on the programme can be found here:



For more information, contact:

Katrina Candy –; 07776 857222

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From daffodil bulbs to northern lights – the charity auction that offers it all

THE HEATHER TRUST – the UK’s foremost charity dedicated to the promotion of sustainable, resilient moorlands – is calling all potential bidders to register now for its annual charity auction which goes live on Friday 5th April.

The auction is a set piece in the charity’s calendar and has raised thousands of pounds for the Trust’s vital work in championing our magnificent moorlands.

An exciting catalogue is guaranteed again this year with Lots to suit a wide variety of interests, and budgets.

“It’s quite incredible the variety of Lots we have very fortunately been donated,” said Katrina Candy, Director of The Heather Trust.

“There are excellent opportunities to bag yourself superb holidays such as a luxury adventure trip to Iceland to really immerse yourself in the country’s untamed beauty including (hopefully) the northern lights, or four nights in an opulent palazzo apartment in Venice. We have also been given an incredible opportunity for four people to go on safari in Botswana with celebrated wildlife artist Ashley Boon.

“Of course, alongside the foreign adventures, we have home-grown sporting Lots across the UK, from hind stalking in Easter Ross to roe stalking in Northumberland – and plenty of fishing in between. And we have some real money-can’t-buy donations like original works of art, signed books and a superb Hunt it-Cook it-Eat it experience in the North Pennines.

“These Lots are all mixed in with fine wines, Gaelic gins, books, clays pigeon shooting, golf, daffodil bulbs and, of course, heather seed. It’s such an eclectic mix, you really must have a look!”

The dynamic auction catalogue is being updated with new entries right up until the auction go-live date of Friday 5th April but you can view it now and register to bid. Bidding is then live right through to Sunday 21st April.

You can register to bid here: 



Caption – From holidays in Geodesic domes in Iceland to a cottage in the Scottish Highlands to Hemmingway-tyle tents in Botswana – the Heather Trust 2024 Country Market and Sporting Sale catalogue is bursting with Lots to suit all tastes and budgets.

For more information, contact:
Katrina Candy –; 07776 857222 (media)
Eppie Sprung – (auction)


The Heather Trust:
The Heather Trust’s beneficiaries are those that benefit from resilient, sustainable heather moorland and associated environments.  In its broadest terms this is the population of Great Britain and its visitors, since well managed moors will provide public goods such as carbon storage, water management – both quality and flood risk management, rich, diverse and unique plant and animal communities, and recreational opportunities which benefit physical and mental wellbeing.  It will also provide rural communities with employment opportunities either through direct management of the moorland or in associated industries such as tourism and recreation, which aids community cohesion and resilience, ensuring our much-loved moorlands and uplands continue to be places for people as well as nature. 
Thus, The Heather Trust wishes to see sustainable, resilient moorlands for the benefit of everyone.
To help make this vision a reality, our mission is to develop and promote sustainable, resilient moorlands through facilitation and collaboration; engagement and representation; education and demonstration based on research, experience and best practice.



The importance of Wildfire2024: The UK Wildfire Conference

ABERDEEN is hosting an international event this November dedicated to wildfires and how, as a global community, we can better prevent, plan and recover from the growing and devastating threat of wildfires and their wider consequences.

To be held at P&J Live conference centre on 12 and 13 November, the UK Wildfire Conference is a globally-significant event which will explore the theme of “Resilience in a Changing World”. The conference will acknowledge the challenges that changing climate and the behaviours, expectations and attitudes of the public bring to an already complex situation. 

With catastrophic wildfires wreaking havoc in Australia and Chile this February, there is a call for innovative and collaborative approaches to address the growing threat. However, organisers are keen to stress that wildfires are not just a risk to overseas communities. The spate of wildfires across Scotland from March to June 2023 - including many in the Scottish Highlands (Glenluig / Moidart – 3,500ha; Cannich – 1,100ha; Moy 132ha) involved hundreds of firefighters, gamekeepers, foresters and other estate staff and helicopters to tackle the blazes which generated plumes of smoke that were detected by Nasa satellites in space.

At the time of writing, wildfires are sweeping across dry grass in Texas, forcing evacuation of the USA’s main nuclear weapons facility. 

Drawing in speakers, researchers and resilience experts from across the UK and internationally, the UK Wildfire Conference aims to inform and inspire the expected 300 delegates who will come from a diversity of backgrounds and interest groups. 

Conference host The Scottish Wildfire Forum, together with event facilitators The Heather Trust, are ensuring the content will appeal not just to firefighters, but also land managers, regulatory and enforcement agencies, academics, environmental groups, community leaders, planners and more. 

Michael Bruce, Vice-Chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum said:  

“The Forum was established at a wildfire conference held in Aberdeen in 2004 - almost 20 years ago - after a difficult wildfire season in 2003. In fact, that season included the largest recorded wildfire in the UK – a 7,000ha blaze at Ardnamurchan.  

“In this anniversary year, we are honoured to host the 2024 conference that showcases the significant improvements in prevention, preparedness and response techniques that land managers and fire services are implementing across the world to improve resilience, in the face of increasing threats from wildfires in the UK.” 

Katrina Candy, Director of The Heather Trust and Chair of the UK Wildfire Conference 2024 Steering Group said:  

“Wildfires impact so many communities across the world, bringing with it devastation to both humans and wider biodiversity. A collaborative approach with sustainable objectives is key to building resilience. This autumn’s flagship event provides a platform for high calibre speakers, knowledge exchange and connectivity to progress research and translate that into positive action.” 

More information and ticket purchasing is here: Wildfire2024


Caption – Wildfires occurred in many locations across the UK in 2023, some of which were close to urban fringes. 

For more information, contact: 

Katrina Candy –; 07776 857222 


Previous press releases

The Heather Trust appoints Katrina Candy as their new Director

THE HEATHER TRUST – the UK’s foremost charity dedicated to the promotion of sustainable, resilient moorlands – is delighted to announce the appointment of Katrina Candy as their new Director.

Katrina joins the Trust following eight years with Bidwells property consultants as Head of Communications (Scotland), prior to which she was Head of PR & Education with the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust for 13 years.

Katrina will bring a wealth of experience in journalism, public relations, strategic communications, business development and education combined with a great love and understanding of the uplands. Based in Perthshire, she will support the Trust both in Scotland and on all moorland matters that extend across the UK.

Her appointment comes at a pivotal moment for the Trust as it embarks upon a number of new initiatives that aim to raise awareness of the importance of our UK moorlands at a time of climatic, political and managerial change.

“I’m looking forward to working with the very focussed team at The Heather Trust to enhance appreciation, deliver impactful events and meaningful research into our iconic moorland landscapes,” said Katrina who is a Chartered PR Practitioner.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of these habitats for economic, social and of course environmental reasons which are now being viewed through a sharpened natural capital lens.

“A collaborative approach with sustainable objectives is key to ensuring resilient moorlands for the benefit of all. One of the main areas of focus in 2024 will be the delivery of the UK Wildfire Conference in Aberdeen in November. This flagship event, will attract delegates, sponsors, industry experts, scientists and thought leaders from all over the world and will be an excellent opportunity to share and learn as we face the global climate emergency.”


Katrina’s interest in the environment and education extends beyond work, having published a number of children’s books about conservation and land management.

Notes - Katrina is originally from Perth and grew up in Montrose. Prior to her new appointment, she worked with Bidwells' property consultants, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the John Lewis Partnership and DC Thomson.


For more information, contact: Katrina Candy –; 07776 857222

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Anne Gray steps down as Director after five years with the Heather Trust 

Director, Anne Gray, has decided to move on from the Heather Trust.

Anne has worked for the Heather Trust since 2018, providing subject matter expertise to further the interests of moorland and heading up the Trust’s work with Scotland’s Moorland Forum, as well as attending numerous committees and interest groups on the Trust’s behalf.

Anne leaves the Trust to take up a post with the Environment Bank, where she will be working on biodiversity net gain. 

Viv Gill, Chair of the Heather Trust, commented; 

“We are delighted for Anne as she prepares to start her new role, but nevertheless keenly aware that her experience and skilful navigation of sometimes contentious moorland issues will be much missed. Anne has been particularly helpful in ensuring that my transition into the role of Chair has been smooth, and I think I speak for us all when I say I have very much enjoyed working with her. I wish her all the best.” 

The Heather Trust is now in the process of recruiting a new Director. The position is being advertised at In the interim, the wealth of expertise on the Trust’s Board, its skilled staff and its close relationships with other subject matter experts mean that the Trust will be able to continue its mission with momentum - working towards sustainable, resilient moorland for the benefit of everyone. 

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