From February to March 2023, we hosted a series of drop-in sessions and invited local community members to join us to discuss green finance and peatland restoration.
- Lairg Community Centre
- Thurso Library
- Strathy Village Hall
- Wick Pulteney Centre
With an open door policy, we were joined by a range of community members including crofters, farmers, estate owners and workers who had the opportunity to learn about, raise concerns and share their vision for the future of the Flow Country. Attendees’ perspectives and questions were noted during each session and collated as feedback to help shape the future development of the project.
Attendees were generally supportive of the proposed approach which will focus on maximising returns to landowners and farmers and developing shared community benefits.
Concerns were raised around the risk of the loss of control stemming from:
- Changing legislation and rights - especially around the timing of carbon credit sales and net zero requirements for farms)
- The impact on changes of ownership and tenancy e.g long-term leases
- Existing and future infrastructure around the Flow Country e.g wind farm developments
- Lack of engagement with the community and views not being integrated into the design and delivery of the initiative
We are grateful for the participation of everyone who attended and will continue to address the community views and needs throughout the development of this initiative. An initial outcome has been the creation of our FAQ page.