Climate Ready Localities: Adaptation Scotland’s new locality partnerships

During the summer of 2020 Adaptation Scotland identified two localities - Loch Ken in Dumfries and Galloway and Marr in Aberdeenshire – where local partners demonstrated a real appetite to work with us to increase resilience in the face of climate change. We are excited at this opportunity to extend the community of practice for place based adaptation in Scotland.

Our intention for this collaboration is that those living and working in Loch Ken and Marr and those who make decisions that affect these localities are better equipped to act together to build climate resilience. In doing so we will be improving the health and wellbeing of people and ecosystems. We value the range of expertise and activity already underway in Loch Ken and Marr and are looking forward to building on this as we co-design locality-specific adaptation actions.

Loch Ken, Dumfries and Galloway

In Loch Ken we will be working with Loch Ken Trust, a charitable organisation established to put the community at the heart of decision making that affects them. In close cooperation with other local partners - the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership and Dumfries and Galloway Council – to shape the process, where together with the local communities we can understand locality-specific climate change impacts and define fair and inclusive adaptation actions.

Barnaby Fryer, Loch Ken Trust officer told us, “We’re really excited to be working with Adaptation Scotland on the Climate Ready Ken project. The impacts of climate change are already too obvious in our communities, whether it is wildfires raging in the Galloway Forest Park or extreme flooding of towns and villages around Loch Ken. This work will help us understand the practical things we can do right now, to set us up to really prosper in an uncertain future.”

Councillor Dougie Campbell, D&G Council Environment Champion said, “Dumfries & Galloway has set one of the most ambitious carbon reduction targets of any local authority in the world (net-zero by 2025). This work by Loch Ken Trust and Adaptation Scotland will build on that ambition and confirm the growing reputation of Dumfries & Galloway as a global leader in tackling both the causes and impacts of climate change.”

Marr, Aberdeenshire

In Marr, we will be working with Climate Ready Aberdeenshire, a cross-sector regional initiative that is developing Aberdeenshire’s climate change adaptation strategy. Building on the Community Resilience to Climate Change Workshops held in the area in 2019 by Climate Ready Aberdeenshire, and on the current research on existing adaptation actions, we will be focusing our collaboration on community and business engagement.

Sam Long, Climate Ready Aberdeenshire Chair said: "Climate Ready Aberdeenshire is delighted to receive support and input from Adaptation Scotland in regards to pilot activity in the Marr district. With action required in both the short and long term, community and in particular, youth, engagement is key to successful, community wide climate change adaptation and mitigation. A two-way dialogue that informs residents, public services and private business should improve the likelihood of widespread change in behaviour, investment and activity"

Tara Murray, Climate Ready Aberdeenshire Project Lead added: “This is a really exciting opportunity for Marr and Climate Ready Aberdeenshire. Adaptation Scotland has provided us with continuous support in the development of Climate Ready Aberdeenshire and we’re looking forward to working with them and sharing knowledge and expertise as part of their Climate Ready Locality project, and the benefits this will bring to the residents of Marr”.

We are currently in the early stages of shaping our approach with Loch Ken Trust and further in autumn will be embarking on the similar process with Climate Ready Aberdeenshire. In both localities we are guided by the local interests and priorities and are confident that the learnings from this collaborative adaptation process will be of value for other localities across Scotland and beyond.

To find out more about Adaptation Scotland’s localities work, please get in touch with our Climate Resilience Coordinator Iryna Zamuruieva.

The Adaptation Scotland Programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by sustainability charity Sniffer.