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11 January 2022Soil carbon and forestry practice in Scotland: how do forest managers see it?

Forestry and its impacts on carbon cycles has never been higher profile, nor more political. Recent work by the Forest Policy Group, funded by The Pebble Trust,  focuses on two important areas:

  • Impacts of forestry on carbon storage in soils and ways to mitigate those impacts
  • The experiences and views of practitioners.

This is a must-read for anyone involved in forestry in Scotland. Find out more in their latest blog post.  The full report by
Anna Lawrence has just been published and explores the perspectives of forest management stakeholders on forest operations in relation to soils and soil carbon.

This report forms part of a wider study by Forest Policy Group, commissioned by The Pebble Trust, to conduct a study to inform policy makers and practitioners about the impacts of forest practice on soil carbon and how such impacts may be mitigated.
 

07 January 2022Looking back at 2021

We thought it would be good to start the year with a look back at 2021 and we are all happily amazed at quite how much the Trust has achieved!

In the past year, The Pebble Trust has:

  • Increased our mamaximum grant for 2021/22 from £5,000 to £10,000.
  • Funded 21 community led projects, most located in the Highlands and Islands but some with Scotland-wide reach and benefits.
  • Introduced an internship programme
  • Continued to support and fund our bigger, strategic projects
  • Welcomed a new trustee

Grants increased to £10,000

Our Trustees have become so alarmed at the lack of progress in tackling the climate and nature emergencies, despite the increasing urgency of the situation, that we have decided to encourage more, and more ambitious, projects. Find out more.

Grants awarded to 21 community led projects

There was a diverse and fascinating mix but certain themes emerged:

  • Community food growing: we supported a community farm in North Ronaldsay and community orchards in Inverness plus continued support for Highland Good Food Partnership
  • Scotland's land use and ownership, forestry and agroecology: projects supported included  SEDA's new vision for land use; a roadmap to a forest nation for Scotland; conservation journalism in H&I, rewilding 'hearts & minds'.
  • Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, with renewable energy and active travel: Grants went to Community Energy Scotland (CES)  for a Local Energy Plan for Uist; to WWF looking at a transition to zero carbon heating for Scotland; to CES for Energy in Motion in the Western Isles
  • Encouraging a circular economy, with recycling, reusing and repurposing projects in Sutherland and Sanday
  • Filmmaking to raise awareness and engage: Two soon to be released films, one from the Our Seas coalition, raising awareness of issues impacting the health of our coastal seas and fisheries, the other by a young filmmaker whose goal is to engage, educate and inspire young people in Scotland to care about our wildlife, environment and climate change through film.

Find out more about these and other projects we have supported.

Internships

We wanted to help recent graduates gain knowledge, expertise and confidence - and help them become active, involved and potentially employed in building a more sustainable, low carbon and equal society. Community Energy Scotland, Tagsa Uibhist and Community Woodlands Association all made successful applications.
Find out more about our internship programme.

Strategic support

  • Retrofit of Scotland's old housing stock is more urgent than ever so we continue to promote and support the Sustainable Renovation Guide , this year with a promotional video and plans to use the content for a website for building practitioners involved in retrofitting traditional, mainly domestic Scottish buildings.
  • Highland Good Food Partnership: We continue to fund this ground-breaking project - creating networks, sharing information, facilitating projects and lobbying policy makers to help create a sustainable local food system.
  • Soil Carbon: We continue to support Forest Policy Group's research into the effects of forestry operations on soil carbon, and what might constitute best climate practice. Keep an eye out early next year for their report.

06 January 2022CWA employs first Pebble Trust funded intern

We're delighted to hear that Heloise Le Moal has joined Community Woodlands Assocation, funded by our recently launched internship programme.

Heloise is working with Culduthel Community Woods & Glengarry Community Woodlands to help them develop new ways to promote their work & involve more people in their activities.

Heloise recently completed her Honours Degree in Forestry at UHI. She won the Scottish Land Commission National Student Award in 2020 for her comparative research into community woodlands in Scotland & municipal forests in France. Her research is published here.

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