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Project Examples

Projects that the Pebble Trust has supported include:

Pebble Trust Internship Programme

The purpose of the programme is to provide an opportunity for recent graduates to gain knowledge, expertise and confidence to help them become active, involved and potentially employed in building a more sustainable, low carbon and equal society.  The 2021-22 programme targeted selected organisations that have successfully taken forward a Pebble Trust funded project before.

Community Energy Scotland and Tagsa Uibhist both successfully applied for grants of £6,000 to host an intern, with the condition that the intern must be remunerated. The Trust was particularly pleased to see the links between the two and the opportunity for the two interns to add value to each other's projects.

Community Energy Scotland (CES)

CES will employ an intern for three months to deliver a Uist Energy in Food Audit. The audit will include energy used in transportation of food, use of agricultural vehicles, heating of buildings and poly-tunnels and any other aspects of food production. Find out more about Community Energy Scotland.

Tagsa Uibhist

Working alongside Tagsa Uibhist’s Community Gardens team and engaging with local food producers and local businesses, a recent graduate with an interest in equitable sustainable development, food production, value chain development and nutrition will be supported to conduct research to write a Uist Local Fruit and Vegetable Map. Find our more about Tagsa Uibhist.
 

Uist Local Energy Plan

Community Energy Scotland (CES) received funding towards the development of a Local Energy Plan for Uist. The Plan will explore opportunities for efficient use of local energy to meet local heat, electricity and transport needs. Expected benefits of the Plan are to:

  • Set out a path to make the Uistcommunity more sustainable in terms of energy
  • Determine how the community embrace low carbon living to reduce their impact on Climate Change
  • Plan to end their reliance on fossil-fuels and take advantage of their abundant renewable resources

To find out more, visit Community Energy Scotland's website.

 

Scotland - Roadmap to a forest nation

Macdonald Project Solutions (MPS) will undertake a suite of work, with a mix of technical, commercial and policy elements, to evaluate what is needed to move Scotland, and specifically the Highlands & Islands, into becoming a sustainable and dynamic “Forest nation”.

Loch Arkaig Roundhouse

The Woodland Trust is working with the Loch Arkaig local community to design and build a Roundhouse shelter, providing a base for volunteer work parties, a venue for outdoor learning, and a hub for events and workshops. In this remote area, the structure will open up the potential for increased numbers of volunteers and visitors to learn about the estate and woodland management. To find out more, visit The Woodland Trust website.

Farewell Glacier

In collaboration with two Highland musicians/composers and poet Nick Drake, Edel Rae is presenting a musical/spoken work production of Drake's The Farewell Glacier as part of the COP26 Green Zone Cultural Programme. The collection of poems was  his response to an expedition to the High Arctic where artists and scientists worked together to try and understand the effects of climate change on the ecosystem of that crucial part of the world.

Greening the Burn

Upper Achintore Regeneration Group received a small grant to rewild a green area in Upper Achintore with wildflower meadow and native trees. Planting and maintenance will be carried out by volunteers and children from the local primary school. To find out more, visit the community group's
Facebook page.

North Ronaldsay Community Farm

Transition North Ronaldsay CIC received funding to develop and support a community garden and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project. This project will allow the community to invest and support growing sustainable fruit and vegetable produce in their isolated and remote community whilst also teaching the community new and transferable skills. By running the community garden project with a CSA they hope to find a balance which enhances community spirit, improves wellbeing as well as providing a communal space, an income stream for one FTE and securing the long term future of the community garden with less dependence on funding. Follow their progress on their Facebook page.

Sundried Seaweed

Scotland's seaweed industry is in its early days but has enormous potential, especially on a local level. Summer Isles Engineering's Steve Husband received Pebble Trust funding to develop a prototype solar-powered seaweed dryer into a small production model, enabling small local producers to hire or purchase a dryer suitable for their scale of operation.  Potential benefits are:

  • Reduce road miles for wet food
  • Encourage local seaweed processing businesses
  • Use renewable sources for the drying
  • Create jobs locally

Crown & City Community Orchard

The aim of this project is to create an orchard in Inverness city centre community by encouraging and supporting local residents and organisations to grow fruit trees, bringing people together, sharing knowledge, experience and produce. Expected outcomes are a reduction in food miles, better access to affordable, healthy food as well as increased community cohesion. Crown Connects is a registered charity that provides a community support network. To find out more, visit their Facebook page.
 

Soil carbon and forestry practice - research and advocacy

What are the impacts of forestry on carbon storage in soils and how can they be mitigated? Forest Policy group have identified a need for independent research and advocacy work to promote the importance of soil carbon; illustrate how some tree-cultivation techniques cause losses of stored soil carbon, clarify how forestry management can maximise net carbon ; and to change forestry practice.

The group intend to produce clear, easily understood guidance to be disseminated at different levels –from policy to practical guidance. These will include:

  • A non-technical overview covering the basics of soil carbon in forests.
  • A technical paper - how do current forestry operations impact on soil carbon?
  • An analysis of how soil carbon is dealt with by current regulation and standards - and how they match up with the need to move rapidly to minimise carbon emissions.
  • An overview of why foresters do what they do in relation to soil disturbance.
  • A description of the technical solutions that are currently available and exploration of the potential for technical innovation
  • Recommendations for how regulation can be improved.

Forest Policy Group is an independent think tank seeking to further the development of sustainable forestry in Scotland, by contributing informed inputs to the policy debate.

Sustainable fisheries film - Our Seas

Our Seas Coalition will produce a short film to raise awareness of issues impacting the health of our coastal seas and fisheries. Our Seas is a coalition of 87 organisations including community groups, fishing associations, environmental charities, and other marine stakeholders, who are campaigning for urgent change to the management of our inshore fisheries. They are calling for the re-establishment of a modern, coastal limit on bottom-towed fisheries to restrict damaging fishing from the coastal zones of our seas that are most vulnerable. The film will be released summer 2021, Covid restrictions permitting.  Find out more from Our Seas website and Facebook page.

Peffery River restoration

This project by environmental consultancy, Lockett Agri-Environmental, aims to create 800m of new, re-meandered river channel on the Peffery River, along with 7ha of new floodplain wetland with ponds, pools, scrapes and riparian woodlands. If successful, the project would improve biodiversity and potentially reduce flood risk as well as providing community benefit. The Pebble Trust has funded the first stage of this project  - a topographical survey to ensure that the desired water flow is attainable with the surrounding topography. The survey was successful and has allowed the project to continue through to the design phase.

SEDA - A new vision for land use in Scotland - six conversations

The Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) hosted a series of six online ‘conversations’ in Spring 2021, in partnership with other organisations, with the goal of reconsidering Scotland’s approach to land use. The aim was to discuss in an informed way how our land can be used from now and into the future, in the light of the radically changing demands on it. Key ideas addressed were:

  • How to make a sustainable transition in response to the climate and ecological emergency
  • How to address inequality and the effects ofthe coronavirus pandemic
  • How to break down barriers between entrenched sectors and think holistically

The resulting report, SEDA Land, is available to download and you can also watch videos of the Report Launch and the 6 Land Conversations.

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. 

The Conversation consisted of three initial stages, with opportunities for all of those interested to engage.

  • Stage 1: An online conversation via social media, blog and podcast series.
  • Stage 2: An online virtual conference in early 2021, aimed at those who want to be involved in creating a sustainable food system in the Highlands.
  • Stage 3: Turning ideas in action; implementing key actions identified in stage 2

Find out more on the Highland Good Food Conversation website and keep up to date with their blog and podcasts.

This initiative is driven by local people who are passionate about creating a sustainable, local food system and is jointly funded by the Pebble Trust and Transition Black Isle

So you want to shoot animals? - Wildlife / environmental film for teenagers

Young film-maker Elizabeth Penman 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. The film will include interviews with leading scientific experts and will follow through with screenings and events at schools, universities and colleges. Elizabeth explains: "With the rise of the Greta 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."

Find out more about Elizabeth's work.

Landworkers' Alliance

This project aimed to support existing Landworkers' Alliance (LWA) members in Scotland, building their membership and voice.  To help do this, LWA worked collaboratively with members to create their first LWA Scotland publication, The Landworkers' Alliance in Scotland - A manifesto for change .  The publication included an online map of members’ location; in depth case studies; key policy changes LWA would like to see in Scotland;  and partners and collaboratons- how LWA work with other related organisations. Find out more and download the manifesto on the Landworkers' Alliance website.

Nature Nudge 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.

Children were encouraged to go outdoors and do the suggested activity in nature. Teachers then set work that meets age appropriate learning goals. This project was made available to all schools in Shetland and accessible to the public. Find out more on the Shetland Digital School Hub.

Scottish Farm Land Trust - Access to land for agroecology

The Scottish Farm Land Trust (SFLT) aim 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.

Land trusts are a model which directly address market failures in land access and land as a commodity. Their model is to raise capital for purchasing land through community share offers, purchase land, and then rent this out on secure, affordable tenancies with agroecological land management plans.

The funding provided by The Pebble Trust will give SFLT access to vital legal support to allow them to develop experience in selecting tenants and in understanding and developing leases and land management plans, before making the full commitment to purchasing land.

Visit the Scottish Farm land Trust website to find out more. 

Western Isles Energy in Motion

The aims of this Community Energy Scotland project are to enable residents and community groups across the Western Isles to reduce their climate impact by raising awareness and education, replacing fossil-fuelled travel with more sustainable transport including active travel,shared travel options, electric vehicles (EV) and e-bikes. They will also support communities to explore owning EV charge points linked to locally generated renewables and where possible earn an income while providing a vital local service.
 
A development officer based in the Western Isles will support communities  by coordinating information provision, electric vehicle ‘try-out’ events with community groups, and coordinating strategic planning of travel options, encouraging car-sharing and active travel among residents.

Growing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Scotland

CSA farms give people access to good low-cost local food, produced in a way which supports farmers, builds communities and cares for the environment. People become farm members, offering payments or volunteer hours, and in return receive a share of the harvest. This project aims to build CSA in Scotland, in particular the Highlands and Islands area,  supporting and growing the existing CSA schemes and helping start new ones.
Outcomes will include: Peer mentoring visits, webinars, a gathering in the Highland & Islands and publicity materials. Visit the CSA website to find out more.

Learning for Climate Change and Sustainability in Highland Primaries

The aim of this project, run by Highland One World, was for primary-aged pupils to have an increased awareness of the issues around climate change and sustainability, locally and globally. The project delivered training courses to primary school teachers across Highland to develop teachers’ knowledge and skills. Teachers gained innovative, active learning and teaching strategies to help engage pupils in the issues around climate change. They also produced a resource sheet highlighting the best in global citizenship education resources to explore climate change ahead of COP26..

Visit the Highland One World Global Learning Centre website to find out more.

Glenurquhart Care Centre – Energy Savings Project

This project will replace the centre's existing heating with a renewable system, reducing energy consumption and reusing heat.  The reduction in energy costs will help to ensure the future viability of the organisation and improve working conditions for staff and clients. Energy consumption and findings will be shared with other local community groups and fed back to the Local Energy Plan Development Group. Find out more about the Glenurquhart Care Centre.

Tiroran Woodland Crofts Foundation Stage

Feasibility work and masterplanning for the establishment of six woodland crofts on land owned by South West Mull and Iona Development.

Findhorn Hinterland Trust

Completing the outdoor learning centre in the Edible Forest Garden to provide greater opportunities for schools and the community to learn about sustainable lifestyles. Visit the Findhorn Hinterland Trust website to find out more.

Uibhist Growers Almanac

A horticultural publication that seeks to share the rich resource of local knowledge and skills on growing fruit and vegetables successfully in the challenging and wild landscape of the island of the Uists and Benbecula, Outer Hebrides. You can view the Uibhist Growers Almanac online.

Iona Energy Ltd - Heat Network

This is an ambitious programme to bring a renewable energy network to the Isle of Iona. The Pebble Trust contributed with a grant towards the initial set up cost for the community contribution and to support financial management and advice.

Findhorn Hive

This project provides high quality, affordable office and workshop space and facilities for innovative social enterprises in Moray. The Pebble Trust contributed £5,000 towards the development of this facility. Find out more about the Findhorn Hive.

Outfit Moray – Bike Revolution

Funding towards bike lockers and mechanics training to enhance the activities undertaken in encouraging increased numbers of the local community to adopt sustainable lifestyles through cycling. Find out more about Outfit Moray and Bike Revolution on their website.

Good Grub

Delivering a food growing initiative utilising public realm space.   In Highland Council premises, staff will be encouraged to share knowledge and skills and promote the growing of healthy food and to reduce the carbon footprint.  

Wester Ross Pocket Orchard

Growth of root stock to provide eight communities with Pocket Orchards, providing opportunities to learn skills for fruit growth and encourage development of sustainable lifestyles. Find out more about the project on the Wester Ross Pocket Orchard Facebook page.

MOO Incredible Edible

Development of an under used and overlooked area of land near the railway track in Muir of Ord into a community garden and growing space for the community, as part of a wider community initiative by MOO Food.  Find out more about MOO Food and the Incredible Edible project on their website.

Talking Medicines

A project to support a pilot to create a video animation about how antibiotics work, how to take them, and how to dispose of packaging and any remaining product correctly with an environmental view. View the video or find out more about Talking Medicines.

Permaculture Association – ScotLAND Project

A network of ScotLAND Centres of permaculture (and climate adaptation) demonstration across the H&I would empower the regeneration of communities, economy and culture, embodying the potential abundance of the land. In addition, the delivery of the Highlands & Islands first Permaculture Design course.

Barvas Wind Turbine

Contribution toward the establishment of a community owned wind turbine by Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company.

Surfers Against Sewage

Contribution towards a programme of activities involving the recruitment and training of volunteers, equipment for beach cleans and environmental education around plastic pollution on our coasts. Find out more about their work and how you can get involved on the Surfers Against Sewage website.

The Sheiling Project – micro-dairy

Refurbishment of a byre at the project site in Glen Strathfarrar to a functioning micro-dairy to provide an invaluable experience of the challenges and opportunities of small-scale sustainable farming for our visitors, with young people, local volunteers and adults involved in the entire process of refurbishment: planning and sourcing the materials. Find out more about The Sheiling Project on their website.

TCV Highland Community Recycling  

An 18 month pilot to engage a range of community groups across Inverness in wood recycling. Through a programme of training workshops, local people learnt how to construct a range of items out of recycled timber donated by local businesses.

Spean Bridge Community Centre

Contribution towards a renewable heating system to enhance the usability of the hall for local groups, providing a social hub for the community. Find out more on the Spean Bridge Community website.

Seaboard Communities Polytunnel

Erection of polytunnel and provision of activities to address social isolation and loneliness by providing a place for individuals to socialise and take part in activities and feel connected in the community.

Helmsdale Kitchen Garden

A sustainable kitchen garden is being established with allotments and polytunnels linked to community training and engagement for lower carbon food choices and recycling. Find out more on the Helmsdale Kitchen Garden Facebook page.

Iona Heat Network

This complex project aims to reduce the carbon footprint of heating in the Iona Conservation Village and Iona Abbey through the installation of a district heating system based on ground source heat pumps. 

Isle of Eigg Tree Nursery

A new tree nursery will provide a supply of trees from local seed which are adapted to the local environment. It aims to support an increase in woodland cover on Eigg and particularly an increase in native woodland and it will lead to a sustainable source of wood fuel for local people. Find our more on the Isle of Eigg community website.

Findhorn Social Enterprise Hub - From Ekopia

The Findhorn Social Enterprise Hub will provide office and hot-desking space and wider support to local organisations which share a commitment to sustainable living. It will provide an opportunity for the development of innovative ideas between like-minded organisations, supported by Ekopia, who will act as a model to small social enterprises on how to become sustainable businesses.

Nairn Community Orchard

This project has established a community orchard, as an educational resource, learning space and community gathering place, in an underused public park the centre of Nairn.

ATLAS Arts - CLIMAVORE: On tidal Zones

This project explores how to diversify into ecological aquaculture practices, like seaweed or bivalve farming and promote their consumption amongst local residents, restaurants and tourists. An art installation is revealed every day at low tide which functions as a dining table, with free tastings of recipes featuring seaweeds, oysters, clams and mussels. The project collaborates with local chefs and other stakeholders and includes a free educational programme.  find out more about Atlas Arts and their current projects, including CLIMAVORE, on their website.

Stramash Renewable Energy Project

Fort William based outdoor nursery received funding to install renewable energy into a 'castle' that has been built on the site for shelter with expertise from volunteer parents. This will be a teaching resource and will help to create the next generation of environmentalists who will protect and cherish the natural environment. Find out more about Stramash Scotland on their website.

The Peffery Way Association - The Peffery Way Foot/Cycle Path

The Peffery Way Association wish to create and maintain a safe, low level and accessible 6 km foot/cycle path between Dingwall and Strathpeffer and the communities in between using as much of the old, disused railway track and existing paths as possible. Funding from the Pebble Trust helped the group to undertake the surveys and work required, and pay the planning fees needed to achieve planning consent for the route. Further funding was provided towards extending the Blairninich section of the Peffery Way. Find out more on the Peffery Way website and Facebook page. .

Other projects

Other projects that The Pebble Trust will support might include: 

We hope to be surprised and inspired by a wide range of applications, many of which will lie beyond the expected!

  • Projects which directly reduce the resource-intensity of communities – for instance a community composting scheme, a cycling project or a waste reduction project. 
  • Feasibility studies for projects that will reduce resource intensity of communities for example a study for a business selling locally grown food
  • Projects which promote ways for communities to become more sustainable – for instance, a conference or publication on insulating hard-to-treat homes;
  • Research into practices elsewhere and how they might be applied locally – for instance, a case study of district heating systems and the barriers to their implementation
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