Our Living Landscape: Communities Leading Change

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Based in the far north west of Scotland, the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape initiative covers the largest area of any such partnership in the country. At its heart is a group of community, charity and private landowners and charities working together to improve both the environmental and economic prospects of this very remote part of Scotland.

Over the past five years we have been delivering a programme of over 30 projects, led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and supported though the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Projects have included upgrading and creating almost 13km of paths, including routes over the iconic mountains of Quinag and Suilven; nearly 600ha of native woodlands planted and managed; innovative training programmes for deer management and crofters; and an outdoor woodland learning project that has worked with every school in the area.

As the current programme comes to an end this free, online conference:

  • showcased what has been achieved
  • shared our experience and knowledge
  • gave participants the opportunity to discuss all aspects of the partnership with the staff team, partners and project leads
  • gave participants the opportunity to network with other practitioners in the field of landscape-scale conservation

Overview conference schedule

10:00 – 10:15 – Welcome and introductory video

10:15 – 11:45 – Land management, paths and access

11:45 – 12:45 – Lunch

12:45 – 14:30 – People, wildlife and heritage

14:30 – 14:45 – Break

14:45 – 16:15 – Learnings and legacy

16:15 – 16:30 – Thank you and close

Even if you didn’t get chance to register for the conference, you can still watch the presentations – they are available to stream and share below:

Welcome and introductory video: Our Living Landscape – communities leading positive change

Keynote speech and introduction to the land management, paths & access session – Jo Pike, CEO of Scottish Wildlife Trust

Coigach and Assynt: where have all the trees gone? – Elaine MacAskill, The Woodland Trust

Access improvements in Coigach & Assynt – Rich Williams, John Muir Trust

Access improvements on the Postie’s Path – Michelle Henley, Scottish Wildlife Trust

Supporting crofting in Coigach and Assynt – Anne Campbell, CALLP

Introduction to people, wildlife, heritage and culture session – Maree Todd, MSP, followed by Victoria Campen, CALLP

Clachtoll Broch project: conserving and investigating an iconic coastal ruin – Gordon Sleight, Historic Assynt

Bringing learning to life with the Outdoor and Woodland Learning project – Kat Martin and Fiona Saywell, CALLP

High Value Open Habitat Survey – Sam Black, NatureScot

A Sense of Place – Laura Hamlet, North West Highlands Geopark

Stories from our Community Grants Scheme – Boyd Alexander, CALLP Scheme Manager

The Coigach & Assynt story – Boyd Alexander, CALLP Scheme Manager

The National Lottery Heritage Fund: supporting Scotland’s landscapes – Holly Watson – National Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland

Looking to the future – Sarah Robinson, Director of Conservation, Scottish Wildlife Trust

Contact the team with queries on coigach-assyntconference@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @coigachassynt