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.

24 June 2020Catching up with Timberness

It's always good to find out how projects we have funded are getting on. So just before lockdown trustee Neil Sutherland spent some time at Timberness, with Rab Thomas and one of the Conservation Volunteers.

"I was impressed by the enthusiasm of Rab and his colleague and commitment to help with introductory woodworking skills courses to a large number and range of groups. I believe Timberness is carrying out a useful community and training service and I'm pleased the Pebble Trust were able to support this organisation."

Timberness is a wood recycling project which supports those with mental health issues through skills development.  They receive donations of timber materials from numerous companies in the Inverness area and from scavenged sources. You can find out more about The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) on their website or Facebook page.

25 May 2020Green Hive move closer to their community hub

Green Hive

We were delighted to receive the end-of-project report from Green Hive recently, who used a Pebble Trust grant to carry out a feasibility study, working towards their long term vision for a permanent community hub in Nairn. It turned out to be a really worthwhile exercise, with plenty of community engagement, and they now have a 10 year growth plan. 

As a result of the study they plan to retain their two premises model - one for a workshop and the other as a welcome hub for locals to drop by and meet up. They are on the lookout for a more centrally located welcome hub.

Their waste repurposing activities were identified as having great potential for generating income and their focus for 2020 is to create decorative and reusable products from waste plastic. Have a look at their newly redesigned website to find out about all their activities and how you can get involved.

23 May 2020Nudging children outdoors during lockdown

Congratulations to Nature Nudge for securing Pebble Trust funding. 

Based in Shetland, Nature Nudge is an educational project which produces short nature learning videos with accompanying activity sheets, to support and inspire curriculum linked outdoor learning for pupils, parents and teachers during the lockdown period due to Covid-19.

The aims of Nature Nudge are to:

  • Connect children and families with Shetland nature.
  • Improve skills – in food growing, identification, physical agility and fitness, noticing and mindfulness.
  • Provide a sense of community for learners in lockdown.
  • Boost physical activity and health and wellbeing
  • Increase an awareness of climate change issues such as plastic pollution, seabird population declines, peatland restoration and local conservation efforts.
  • Support existing curriculum learning outcomes.

Find out more on the Shetland Digital School Hub

23 May 2020Scottish Farm Land Trust - Providing access to land for agroecology

The aim of the Scottish Farm Land Trust is to increase access to land for small-scale, ecological agriculture by purchasing land to be held in trust and rented fairly to new entrants and young people. The Pebble Trust are delighted to have contributed funding to help the Trust develop their experience and expertise in access to land, before making their first land purchase.

Their work in the next year will include employing a Development Coordinator to deliver their business plan; outreach to new entrants and landowners;  mapping the training and advice network for new entrant agroecological farmers; brokering their first tenancy agreements between landowners and farmers; and last but not least raise the profile of agroecological farming.

Agroecological farming looks beyond a focus on yields and considers the social and environmental benefits that farms can deliver, such as rural employment, community development and education, developing local supply chains, resilient ecosystems and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Find out more about the Scottish Farm Land Trust on their website or follow them on Facebook.

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