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Garden Sharing and Community Growing

Looking ahead to a new growing season and hopefully a world that is closer to normality, the Environmental Advisory Group has been considering how our community might contribute to the fast emerging trend towards increasing local food production in response to developing a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world. In our midst’s we have a wealth of food growing experience on one hand and people who are enthusiastic and keen to learn on the other so with this in mind we are proposing two ideas:

  1. Garden Sharing – this is where people who have suitable gardens would like to team up with others to grow fruit and veg for mutual benefit.  This idea could also potentially help with social inclusion for those who live alone and may not be able to go out much.
  2. Community Growing – this idea involves a group of volunteer enthusiasts coming together to grow food for the benefit of the wider community on land made freely available for this purpose.

At present we want to gauge the level of interest for these ideas within the community so if you:

  • Have a garden you would like to share to grow fruit and/or veg;
  • Would like to volunteer to help grow fruit and veg in other peoples’ gardens for shared benefit;
  • Would like to volunteer for the Community Growing initiative;
  • Make land available for the Community Growing initiative or know of land that might be used for this purpose;

then please send an email to environment@sleat.org.uk indicating which of the above is of interest to you.

Did you know…?

West Highland College often runs short courses for people interested in producing their own food. These courses are very popular so it is important to register for them as soon as they become available. The links below are for courses in February but the College is hoping to offer them in March and similar courses are likely to run in the Spring and Summer too so keep an eye out!

Growing your own Vegetables and Salad

Introduction to Poly-tunnel and Greenhouse growing in the Scottish Highlands and West Coast

 

Environment Advisory Group

 

The Environment Advisory Group is a volunteer group which meets bi-monthly in order to:

  • advise SCT on environmental impacts of the Trust's activities
  • promote environmental awareness in the local community
  • organise environmental events

The group also encompasses around 30 people in the local community who regularly attend the organised events. The chair of the Environment Advisory Group is a trustee of SCT and sits on the board.

 

 AIMS OF THE GROUP:

1. WORKING TO RETAIN AND ENHANCE LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Annual beach cleans, often in conjunction with other local organisations e.g. assisting Bun Sgoil Shlèite
  • Beaches cleaned: Camus Daraich, Point of Sleat, Knock Bay (with Skye Ranger Service), Armadale and Ardvasar bays, Tràigh Ostaig and more

2. PROVIDING ENVIRONMENTAL INPUT TO SCT PROJECTS

 Regular liaison with Tormore Community Forest management over input of wildlife management advice.

  • Active involvement with management of Tormore; e.g. community tree planting day, removal of unwanted conifer seedlings
  • Field surveys to identify locations on the ground to increase management for biodiversity in future
  • Mitigation measures for new extraction tracks particularly where crossing burns
  • Expansion zones for burn-side native woodland remnants and habitat connectivity between burn-side corridors
  • Extent and condition of peatlands  and moorland
  • Enhancing habitat diversity in old standing and fallen wood
  • Initial environmental survey for potential wind turbine site

3.TAKING AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO NEW INITIATIVES

  •  Providing input to development of new village at Kilbeg

 4. BEING POSITIVE AND PROACTIVE IN LOCAL COMMUNITY

  • Winter evening talks on local biodiversity eg birds, moths, plants, marine life, mammals and wildlife on crofting land in Sleat
  • Holding workshops e.g. making bat boxes, native tree growing, training in use of bat detectors and survey work
  • Organising workshops, surveys and field visits for an aspen propagation project for Tormore Forest in association with other Scottish charitable organisations promoting native aspen, such as Eadha & Coille Alba
  • Conducting surveys of general distribution of pipistrelle bats and abundance in old steadings
  • Assisting Highland Council Rangers with a bat and moth evening

 5. INVOLVEMENT IN SKYE-WIDE BIODIVERSITY PROJECTS

  • Active participation by group members of the Skye & Lochalsh Environment Forum, including involvement with projects of SLEF Biodiversity Outreach Officer 

 

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