22 September 202026 pocket orchards planted in Wester Ross

Congratulations to Wester Ross Pocket Orchards for their hugely impressive and apple treeinspiring project. Since receiving Pebble Trust funding in early 2019,  local volunteers have planted 202 fruit trees, including apples, plums and cherries. There are now in 26 pocket orchards  in 13 villages, from Ullapool to Plockton.

Covid-19 unfortunately postponed the planned practical skills training workshop but everything is in place to run this as soon as conditions allow. The rootstocks are safely planted, money is set aside, and the organisers will provide training in caring for and propagating fruit trees. The aim is to complete 200 grafted trees as a result. With the addition of donations of non-orchard, native trees such as wild cherry, crab apple and hawthorn, this committed team of volunteers, including local school children, will have planted an amazing total of 900 trees by project end in early 2021.

plockton apple treeAs well as the prospect for a good harvest from 2020 onwards to sustain the local community,  the project will benefit local biodiversity in this depleted landscape.

Our congratulations to John Wood and the committed team of volunteers. You can find out more about this project on their Facebook page.

17 September 2020Join the Highland Good Food Conversation

How do we get more local, sustainable food on dinner plates in the Highlands? This is the question the Highland Good Food Conversation plans to answer, with your help!

You are invited to join the conversation and be part of the food movement! The Highland Good Food Conversation launched a couple of weeks ago, with a series of podcast episodes and blogs, exploring the exciting, innovative work that is going on in the food sector in the Highlands.

They will be looking for answers to that pretty huge question, and helping people take action to build a better, fairer food system on our doorstep.

LIKE them on Facebook
LISTEN and SUBSCRIBE to the podcasts, there are two episodes so far.
Get in touch!

Highland Good Food Conversation is jointly funded by The Pebble Trust and Transition Black Isle.

15 September 2020Shetland children nudged into nature

Congratulations to the Shetland Nature Nudge team for completing their inspiring and highly successful project. This educational project produced ten short nature learning videos with accompanying activity sheets, supporting and inspiring curriculum linked outdoor learning for pupils, parents and teachers during the lockdown period.

All outcomes were a great success:

  • Connecting children and families with Shetland nature
  • Providing a sense of community for learners in lockdown. 
  • Boosting physical activity and health and wellbeing. 
  • Improveing skills like food growing and identification of plants and animals 
  • Supporingt existing curriculum learning outcomes

By the end of the series, Nature Nudge videos were being viewed right across Shetland and beyond and had become a wholly collaborative experience – with children presenting their own video clips.

Nature Nudge's Karen McKelvie explains:
"Nature Nudge has been a truly successful project, adults were inspired by the young ones getting involved and young ones were inspired by the adults...One of the most lovely things that happened while we were making Nature Nudges, was the relationship that the young presenters had with the programme and with the audience. There was a clear and present connection with the viewers and a desire to show them what they had discovered in the natural world."

And all this was achieved by outdoor educator Karen McKelvie and teacher Caroline Simpson filming on their mobile phones, not to mention the many children and families who so enthusiastically took up the challenge.
Nature Nudge videos and pages continue to remain available on the Shetland school website and talks are underway as to how to use Nature Nudge as a vehicle to promote more outdoor learning and sustainable living in Shetland into the future.

Karen sums up the legacy:
"We know that strong connections with nature and warm feelings towards wildlife leads to more care for nature and pro-nature behaviours, in the future.  Continuation of the Nature Nudge project will undoubtably include how to look after our living environment and how to live more sustainable lives in our unique island community."

The Pebble Trust was delighted to support this inspiring and empowering project.

10 August 2020Bike Revolution moves up a gear in Moray

Outfit Moray's Bike Revolution project has done a fantastic job of getting people on their bikes during lockdown. When they reopened in May, they serviced 80 bikes (compared to their usual average of 30 per month) - 35 of which were for key workers,  plus 20 walk-in repairs. On top of that, they sold 50+ bikes and completely wiped out their stock.

CEO Tony Brown commented "Despite the obvious challenges and uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, this uptake of cycling from the local community has been fantastic and something that we are keen to sustain."

We had no hesitation in providing further funding to to Outfit Moray to improve working conditions and energy efficiency in their Bike Revolution workshop - making the space more fit-for-purpose, creating a nicer experience for customers and, hopefully further increasing cycling in Moray.

Find out more about Bike Revolution on their Facebook page.


27 July 2020Pebble Trust welcomes new Trustee

trustee emma whithamWe're delighted to have Emma Whitham on board as a new Trustee. Emma is the founder of MOO Food, a community led food charity based in Muir of Ord.  As well as managing MOO Food projects, Emma inspires and empowers others to grow their future through her role as a community food and sustainability consultant. She brings a wealth of experience from a career in climate change,  sustainable development policy and environmental project management.  

10 July 2020So you want to shoot animals?

Congratulations to young film-maker Elizabeth Penman, who has just received Pebble Trust funding for a film project whose goal is to engage, educate and inspire young people in Scotland to care about our wildlife, environment and climate change.

Elizabeth explains: ""With the rise of the Greata Thunberg generation we can see that young people are eager to lead the charge. This film will provide them with invaluable insight on how they can further their activism by documenting and sharing their work and stories."

Elizabeth will be leading the audience through the story, asking the questions they want to know to leading scientific experts. The project will follow through with screenings and events at schools, universities and colleges.

Here's an example of Elizabeth's work - this has been shown in schools across Scotland and will be broadcast on the BBC later this year. And you can find out more about Elizabeth's work. The project will be supported by producer Alex Porter-Smith.


06 July 2020Landworkers' Alliance - Supporting agroecology in Scotland

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of supporting local, small scale agroecological farming practices  so the Pebble Trust had no hesitation in funding Landworkers' Alliance (LWA)  to build their membership and voice in Scotland. To help do this, LWA will work collaboratively with members to create their first LWA Scotland publication (both online and printed).  The publication will include:

  • An online map of members’ location
  • In depth case studies
  • Key policy changes LWA would like to see in Scotland
  • Collaborations and shared policy asks - how they work with other related organisations

LWA's mission is to improve the livelihoods of their members and create a better food and land-use system for everyone based on agroecology and food sovereignty to further social and environmental justice.

02 July 2020New policy guide - supporting sustainable renovation

Based on the successful Sustainable Renovation Guide, we are delighted to have provided funding to John Gilbert Architects to produce a policy pamphlet, putting forward ideas for policy, financial and regulatory changes to support the practical improvements proposed in the guide.

Find out more and download the pamplet.

30 June 2020Sustainable renovation in practice - free webinar on 22 July

We're delighted to be working with Zero Waste Scotland and SEDA to organise a free webinar looking at some practical aspects of the advice in Sustainable Renovation in Practice - a practical guide to improving homes for energy, health and the environment.  Chris Morgan, writer of the guide, will be the main speaker and it will be a event flyergreat chance to learn new skills and exchange ideas for everybody in the retrofit sector.

Many organisations are currently encouraging Scottish Government to instigate a national sustainable retrofit programme as part of a green recovery plan post COVID 19, in an effort to create jobs, increase skills and combat climate change and fuel poverty. 

The webinar will take place on 22nd July and is free to register - but places are limited and going fast!

If you'd like a copy of the guide in advance, it is available for purchase for just £10 plus P&P or free to download on our website.

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