Future Communities Highlands & Islands

May 2021

New collaboration between Highland groups

TBI directors Julian Paren (Convenor) and Peter Moffatt recently attended an online meeting hosted by Planet Sutherland with the objective of exploring how local community and environmental groups in the highlands could work more closely together.  (10 May)

Anna Patfield of Planet Sutherland wrote before the meeting

The Highlands and Islands climate and environmental groups frequently come together in meetings, and frequently duplicate events delivering these to individual groups.  There seems to be some sense in joining forces to share out the workload organising these events and also to reduce the pull on those we are asking to speak.   It’s considered that for some topics (e.g. waste), whole area events would be followed up with local events to devise local action plans. Some events however would do well simply at a higher level. We may of course additionally decide to work on other initiatives together: deep discussion; films; climate cafes for instance.A possible name for the group is Future Communities Highlands and Islands.

Groups represented at the meeting were

Planet Sutherland                            
Skye Climate Action                           
Thurso Development Trust 
Transition Black Isle
Assynt Development Trust          
Knoydart Climate Conversations
Highland Council Climate Change group

A topic obviously thought important by all those present was the setting up of some kind of online forum for the exchange of information, ideas and opinions.  Both TBI and Planet Sutherland had had experience of traditional bulletin-board forums failing to attract users, probably because of the now widespread use and easier accessibility of a variety of social media platforms.  A 'Trello board' was suggested as apossible alternative which people might be more willing to use.

Information it was thought it would be useful to exchange included:  current ongoing projects and forthcoming events; group newsletters and contact information; funding sources and results of funding applications; links to and comments on interesting websites, films, books, open events and other sources of environment and climate information.

Suggesting 'Future Communities Highlands and Islands'  as a possible name for the group/concept, Anna emphasised the importance of including the islands, including the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, rather than limiting the scope to the Highland mainland or Highland Council areas.

On the TBI website, as well as separate pages for some specific groups, we have now created under the main 'Groups' menu heading separate pages for 'Community groups' and 'Environmental groups', and will try to keep entries under these headings as up to date as possible.


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