This page will provide information about and links to other Transition and Community groups, mainly those closest to the Black Isle, but also some further afield.
Planet Sutherland newsletter and thoughts on Resilience
In the latest issue of Planet Sutherland's newsletter, Anna Patfield gives some thoughtful reflections on what we mean by 'Resilience'.
If I'd had £1 this month for all the discussions I've had on the meaning of "Resilience".. well I'd be rich for sure....
It turns out that context is everything and it's worth clarifying. Many for instance use resilience in the context of disaster planning: the ability of a community to respond and react to flooding events or pandemics, for example.
However, when we're in the world of climate chat, resilience means something more. It means how able is an area to cope with a wider range of circumstances such as food shortages or flooding occurring due to climate change; it considers the emotional resilience of an area and individuals, such that we feel strong enough to cope; it includes doing things now to prevent the worst (mitigation); and changing behaviours now so that we are less affected by the environmental changes that are coming (adaptation).
Of course we're all correct and some may say it's a matter of semantics and certainly agree that all aspects are important.
Resilience is one of the topics we'll be addressing at our Highlands & Islands Regional Event with SCCAN on the 5th December. Namely, how to understand where we are on our own resilience path and how others may be affected, and thus, improve our climate conversations. We'll also be strengthening connections throughout the area at the networking sessions.
Find details of this event in the Events calendar
Planet Sutherland November newsletter
Planet Sutherland website www.planetsutherland.com
Neighbourhood Watch 'Safer Communities' leaflet
Ferintosh Community Council has passed on information about a leaflet prepared and circulated by Neighbourhood Watch with the support of Police Scotland. The leaflet includes advice on detecting financial scams, fire safety, dealing with emergencies and numerous other topics, all aimed at keeping you, your family and the community safe.
RVA becomes Community Support and Information (Ross-shire)
Ross-shire Journal 13 September 2020
RVA is making a fresh start as Community Support and Information Ross-shire (CSI Ross-shire). Its office has also relocated to Strathpeffer Community Centre on a temporary basis pending a move to a permanent base.
Ross-Shire Voluntary Action was established in 1971 as Council of Voluntary Services, with the aim of providing support for local community organisations. Over time it has evolved supporting organisations, and latterly diversifying into community transport and employability.
The group says in light of the changing landscape of the third sector, the board have taken the opportunity to rebrand and relaunch the organisation to better reflect the services provided.
No longer providing services on behalf of HTSI
Have been anchor group distributing HIE Covid-19 emergency funds
Provide practical assistance (prescriptions, shopping etc.) to people sheltered or isolating.
Shona Street, Chief Officer
Community Support and Information (Ross-Shire)
in temporary accommodation at Strathpeffer Community Centre
Tel: 01349 862431
W: www.rossvolact.org.uk being updated
http://www.rossvolact.org.uk/team.html is current
Scottish Charity No. SC006582 Registered in Scotland No. 234092
Cromarty Arts Trust - Music events cancelled, some classes and workshops continue
In their latest newsletter Cromarty Arts Trust announce that the live music events they had hoped to host the weekend 10-11 October have had to be cancelled.
Somewhat predictably but with great sadness, we are having to cancel our final two live music events of the year
Saturday 10 October: Lizabett Russo & Graeme Stephen
Sunday 11 October: Fyrish String Quartet
We very much hope to be able to bring these talented musicians to Cromarty next year.
However, CAT are still offering some of the classes and workshops in their Autumn programme. See their September newsletter or their website for details. The latest and previous CAT newsletters are always available on this site at News / Cromarty Arts Trust newsletters.
HTSI Community Signposting Directory
Highland Third Sector interface have produced this comprehensive list of community groups divided into three areas - Ross and Cromarty, inverness and Inverness-shire and Badenoch and Strathspey; and alphabetical and categorised lists within each area.
March 2020 Planet Sutherland
Wendy Price has drawn attention to Planet Sutherland, a group which is not part of the Transition movement but which has an ethos, objectives and activities very similar to ours, and shares some of the difficulties we are familiar with in operating in an even bigger and more thinly populated area than the Black Isle.
They have a website full of interesting information about their activities, posts on environmental topics and links to other websites and sources. Particularly impressive is a video they have produced with animated text, graphs and diagrams under the title 'Take One Step' - the initial step we all need to take which will lead to further steps which, if individuals, governments and business work together, could help bring about a better and more sustainable world.
There is obviously scope for exchanging newsletters and information with Planet Sutherland, and for possible co-operation and interaction in various areas of our common concerns.
December 2020 Logie Steading
April 2020 Nairn River Enterprise and Green Hive
In the context of plans for community action on the Black Isle in relation to the Coronavirus crisis, Martin Sherring has drawn attention to how this community group in Nairn is responding to the lockdown. Martin writes
Here’s something from Nairn which seems relevant – a tactical change in the Green Hive’s activities, moving away from group events into supported individual activities. I think this is something that could be a real benefit in social distancing times, letting people do things individually but still feel part of a bigger network.
Check out this group with similar aims and activities to TBI's at
Safeguarding Scotland’s remote rural communities
A proposal for a Bill to enhance the consideration given to remote rural mainland communities by public bodies in Scotland, introduced by Gail Ross MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, October 2019 . Consultation closed 31 January 2020.
August 2019 Arran Eco Savvy
Arran is an island roughly the same size as the Black Isle, and Arran Eco Savvy is an organisation with very similar aims and activities to those of TBI and other Transition groups. TBI was contacted recently by Arran Eco Savvy on account of their interest in our Million Miles project of a few years ago, in relation to a similar 'Arran in Ten Years' sustainable transport project currently under way on the island. This includes an 'eBike Challenge' in conjunction with Home Energy Scotland, aimed at getting employers to persuade their employees to travel by bike rather than by car, a Liftshare scheme and production of an Active Travel Map.
In addition to this, AES
- has an Energy Challenge Team, providing energy-saving advice and practical help to islanders under the Sustainable Island Life Project, funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund
- is about to start a circular economy modelling study, in conjunction with Strathclude University, looking into food waste in the island's hospitality industry
- as part of its aim to become a Plastic Free Community, has a network of over 50 businesses signed up to a water bottle refill scheme
- runs a Food Share operation in conjunction with the island's Co-op supermarket, under which food at its sell-by is collected and distributed free via a food bank and other pick-up points around the island
- runs a Community Hub and shop in Whiting Bay, staffed by volunteers, which largely functions as an exchange and re-use centre to prevent unwanted items going to landfill, and generally reduce waste and encourage co-operation and sharing.
'Arran in 10 Years' sustainable transport event, Brodick 1 October
Arran Eco Savvy website http://arranecosavvy.org.uk/ . Lots of information about all the above activities, but the News page is not quite up to date.
Arran Eco Savvy hub and shop at Whiting Bay
June 2019 Scottish Environment Link
Who we are
Scottish Environment LINK is the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment organisations, with over 35 member bodies representing a range of environmental interests with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society.
What we do
LINK provides a forum for its member bodies facilitating and enabling informed debate, information-sharing, discussion and joint action. LINK assists communication between member bodies, government and its agencies and other sectors within civic society. Acting at local, national and international levels, LINK aims to ensure that the environment is fully recognised in the development of policy and legislation affecting Scotland.
February 2019 The Sheiling project Strathfarrar
Do you want to milk a cow, build a bothy, or plant a forest? Be an archaeologist, a poet, a weaver? Come outdoors and get stuck in to shieling life with us.
The Shieling Project is an off-grid learning centre based in Glen Strathfarrar, near Beauly in the Highlands of Scotland. The project is all about outdoor living – from looking after our livestock to making real buildings, from weaving baskets to making burgers from the meat we have raised here. The tradition of the shieling where folk lived outdoors all summer herding the cattle, gives us a window onto the past, but also helps us look forward to a sustainable future.
February 2019 Wild Things at Findhorn
Wild things! is an award winning environmental education charity based in Findhorn, on the magnificent Moray Firth, in Scotland. We provide inspiring wilderness, nature based, and outdoor learning experiences for all ages and abilities. We have courses and activities suitable for all, regardless of learning challenges, physical difficulties, financial constraints…or even a fear of spiders!
Forth Environment Link
Forth Environment Link is not a Transition group, but apparently one with very similar objectives. Of particular interest to TBI (not only because of the similarity of the name) is their Food and Growing project Grow Forth. This includes Stirling Food Hub - "We want to see local food linked to every aspect of community life" - and the Stirling Food Assembly online market. There is more about Grow Forth on our Food & Growing / Other Growing Groups and Courses page.
Other FEL groups and projects include Forth Valley Orchards, Stirling Cycle Hub, Cycle Stirling - "Creating cycle friendly communities across Stirling" - and Forth Upcycling Network - "Working with communities to reduce waste".
You can find out more about all of these on at http://www.forthenvironmentlink.org/
but note that the website is currently being updated (November 2018) and the information is therefore incomplete.
Highland Environment Forum
The Highland Environmental Forum (HEF) was established to provide an arena for discussion, networking and action on environmental subjects.
To do this we:
- Foster and coordinate activity on environmental matters
- Take forward relevant actions identified in the Highland Outcome Improvement Plan and be a valuable source of practical advice
- Identify, and respond to, emerging environmental agendas
- Provide a link between local groups and national strategies, action plans and reporting
- Raise awareness and promote good practice on environmental issues
We hold two full Forum meetings a year, organise annual biodiversity and invasive species conferences, and set up working groups as required.
Visit the HEF website at http://www.highlandenvironmentforum.info/
Culbokie Community Trust
See separate page on the menu
MOO Food, Muir of Ord
October 2019 update from Rachel Butterworth, Project Officer, 'Growing Your Future'
"MOO Food is an environmentally conscious community food company based in Muir of Ord. It was established in March 2017 and runs several groups and activities throughout the village, helping people to reconnect with their food and environment. MOO Food leads an education programme with Tarradale Primary pupils and teachers. They also run a Back To Work scheme for job seekers, and the Flourish Group - a green care programme for people with mental health problems. MOO Food's gardener runs weekely Give It A Grow volunteering sessions, and there are regular picnics, festivals, movie nights and community lunches throughout the year too. To keep up to date with the latest activities and events, follow MOO Food on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MOOFood and for more information, and to get involved, check out MOO Food's website:"
(information from Facebook, October 2017)
MOO Food is a social enterprise based in Muir of Ord with a vision to create an inclusive hub for producing environmentally conscious food that sustains a healthy, empowered, low carbon community.
To inspire healthy, environmentally friendly living and give the Muir of Ord community opportunity to reduce carbon footprint and contribute to the production of affordable, chemical free food. Whilst providing hands-on learning opportunities and increasing social capital.
MOO Food Aims
- to improve access to affordable, local, seasonal, chemical free fruit and vegetables.
- to inspire healthy, sustainable, green living
- to provide opportunities for the community to be active
- to empower the community by increasing knowledge and confidence through delivering a suite of courses on growing fruit and veg, food preparation, nutrition, waste reduction and composting, and ongoing support
- to increase social capital by bringing people together and facilitating sharing of knowledge and skills within the community and to prepare the younger generation for the future
- to facilitate an organic waste collection service and community composting
- to be inclusive
For information about MOO Food contact Emma Whitham at MOOFood@mail.com
Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum (GALE)
See separate page on the menu
SeeTravel & Tourisn / Historical on the menu
Soirbheas is a community development organisation for Glen Urquhart and Strathglass, receiving income from a part share in the locally-owned Corrimony wind farm to re-invest in the community through a variety of projects, in conjunction with other community groups. One of these is a year-long 'Tattie Project' - one of several offshoots from our own potato days - and another is a High Speed Broadband project in conjunction with Community Broadband Scotland, with the aim of extending fast broadband coverage to all households and businesses in the area.
Find out more about Soirbheas by visiting their website at http://www.soirbheas.org.
Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust
Based in Bonar Bridge, the Trust aims to ensure that long-term, sustainable benefits are achieved throughout the Kyle of Sutherland area, by focussing on how best to utilise funding from local wind farms and renewable energy projects and identifying match funding opportunities.
A priority of the Trust is to oversee the implementation of a local development plan, with the aim of strengthening and uniting the local community through a range of projects. These include increasing leisure and outdoor activities available to residents and visitors, supporting local businesses and industries including tourism, fishing and food production and increasing education and training opportunities.
Find out more at www.kyleofsutherland.co.uk.
Lochaber Environmental Group
LEG is a registered Scottish Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee. Its aim is to encourage the development and the desire to take action on the environment locally and to help local communities and people to realise this. The company runs various projects throughout Lochaber - more information can be found in the current projects section of thir website.
Highland Biodiversity Partnership
The Highland Biodiversity Partnership comprises around 30 representatives of local groups and key organisations committed to understanding, safeguarding, restoring and celebrating biodiversity within the Highland Council area.
Its purpose is to provide guidance and support to the existing network of local biodiversity groups, and to make progress on the key strategic biodiversity issues in the Highlands.
Since the Highland Biodiversity Project was started in 2002, over £700,000 of new funding has been spent on biodiversity action and planning in Highland. Over two thirds of this money was targeted towards local biodiversity projects. Seven Local Biodiversity Action Plans have been produced, over 130 projects delivered and over 250 awareness-raising events held across the seven LBAP areas.
The highlandbiodiversity.com website has now been amalgamated with the Highland Environment Forum website where you will find up-to-date information.
Highland Biodiversity Officers
Janet Bromham and Jonathan Willet (job share)
The Highland Council, Planning & Development Service
Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX
The Dùthchas Project - Our Place in the Future
The Dùthchas Project was a demonstration project funded by the EU Life Environment Programme from 1998-2001. Focused on the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Project worked with 3 communities and 22 public agencies to explore ways of sustaining fragile rural areas – the natural heritage, the people and the economy. North Sutherland, North Uist and Skye’s Trotternish peninsula were chosen as the 3 Pilot Areas.
The Duthchas website www.duthchas.org.uk is packed with still really ground breaking and useful information for the kind of things that TBI are seeking to achieve.
For the main Transition Network website go to www.transitionnetwork.org/
- Friday 15 January
- 19:30 TBI Gardeners Quiz Night online
- Saturday 16 January
- 10:00 Culbokie outdoor market resumes
- Monday 18 January
- 13:00 Highland Good Food Conference - Session 2
- Thursday 21 January
- 19:00 Release of 'This Good Earth' documentary
- Monday 25 January
- 13:00 Highland Good Food Conference - Session 3
- Tuesday 26 January
- 19:30 Economics for Activists 3 - Beth Stratford
- Monday 1 February
- 13:00 Highland Good Food Conference - Session 4
- Thursday 4 February
- 09:30 SFHA / Changeworks virtual conference - 'Housing now, Housing's future'
Events to add to calendar? Contact Us.
Add Your Business
Do you run a sustainable business on or near the Black Isle? Add it to the TBI business directory