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Community groups urged to get involved in first Highland Climate Festival


By Alan Hendry

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Inverness-based Bethany Lawrie, from Thurso (right), one of the development officers with the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub, and Caroline Phillips, of Culduthel Community Woods, at a Crown Connects event in Inverness supported by the hub.
Inverness-based Bethany Lawrie, from Thurso (right), one of the development officers with the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub, and Caroline Phillips, of Culduthel Community Woods, at a Crown Connects event in Inverness supported by the hub.

Community organisations around the region that are involved in climate action projects are being urged to play their part in the inaugural Highland Climate Festival this summer.

The festival is being supported by the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub, funded by the Scottish Government to empower community-led climate action across the region, and Highland Adapts, a partnership initiative that encourages transformational change to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The festival will run from June 25 to July 3 with a series of events to raise awareness of the actions that everyone across the region can take to combat climate change and celebrate the work of communities, businesses and public sector organisations that are addressing the climate emergency.

There will be opportunities during the week to sign up to the Highland Climate Charter, which has been developed through Highland Adapts and partners.

Local events are also being planned to raise awareness of climate change and celebrate communities.

The theme of the first festival is Love Local, Love Highland, and any communities that wish to celebrate their local area are encouraged to get involved and submit their events for inclusion.

A climate engagement event held by Crown Connects in Inverness that was supported by the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub.
A climate engagement event held by Crown Connects in Inverness that was supported by the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub.

Funding is available to stage events with a climate change and local theme from the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub, with awards of up to £1000 for larger events and up to £500 for smaller events and workshops.

Joan Lawrie, project manager for the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub, said: “We are encouraging our local organisations throughout Highland that are currently involved in climate action projects in their communities to stage events for the festival. This can be anything from a community clean-up day to larger gala-style events that engage and celebrate their community.

"We would also encourage communities that haven’t yet engaged in climate change to come forward and run events. This can again be anything from a path-clearing day to hosting a climate conversation to find out what your community would like to see happen locally."

Joan, who is also development manager of Thurso Community Development Trust (TCDT), added: "We have development officers at the hub who can support any events and applications for funding. Please come forward and help make this first Highland Climate Festival a success and get people talking about climate change in your community.”

Emma Whitham, principal project manager of Highland Adapts, said: “The Highland Climate Festival is a very exciting initiative which will encourage communities and all sectors across Highland to talk about climate change and its impacts in Highland. The adoption of the Highland Climate Charter is a really important milestone and we hope to see communities, businesses and organisations across Highland give full support to it and addressing climate change in the region.”

The funding is available to apply for on the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub website along with further details of the festival. Even if their events do not require funding, groups are still encouraged to get in touch so their activities can be added to the programme.

The hub is operated by TCDT for the Scottish Government.

TCDT will be holding a week-long programme of activities including a Green Health Day on June 25 as well as a repair café, climate conversations and food and growing events, culminating in a Climate Festival Day at Olrig Street gardens.


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