How do we get ready to thrive in a changing climate?
During the summer of 2020, Adaptation Scotland selected two localities across the country – Loch Ken in Dumfries & Galloway and Marr in Aberdeenshire – where local partners demonstrated a real appetite to work to increase resilience in the face of climate change. For the community around Loch Ken, this now signals the start of a period of intensive support and activity with the Loch Ken Trust on this subject.
The Adaptation Scotland programme, funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by a sustainability charity Sniffer, provides advice and support to help organisations, businesses and communities prepare for, and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Adaptation Scotland will be working with Loch Ken Trust, a new charity set up to put the community at the heart of decision making around the Loch – the largest body of freshwater in Southern Scotland, boasting an enviable location in the Galloway & southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, the Galloway Dark Sky Park and neighbouring the Galloway Forest Park.
Work will be in close cooperation with other local partners, including the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, the Galloway Glens Scheme and Dumfries and Galloway Council – to shape the process, allowing local communities to understand locality-specific climate change impacts and define fair and inclusive adaptation actions.
This collaboration between the Loch Ken Trust and Adaptation Scotland will mean people living and working in the Loch Ken area, and those who make decisions that affect the area, are better equipped to act together to build climate resilience, improving the health and wellbeing of people and ecosystems.
The ‘Climate Ready Ken’ project will form part of the wider work of the Trust to build the Loch Ken Plan, a 10-year sustainable community plan. Loch Ken Trust is making sure that this work aligns with and supports the recently published Glenkens & District Community Action Plan, as well as the ongoing work to develop a strategic town plan for Castle Douglas.
Barnaby Fryer, Loch Ken Trust officer, upon hearing that Loch Ken had been selected as one of only two communities in Scotland for the targeted support, said:
“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, Dumfries & Galloway 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.”
Alan Smith, Chairman of the Loch Ken Trust, added:
“The Loch Ken Trust is delighted to be working with Adaptation Scotland.
As well as increasing resilience in our local communities to the impact of climate change, drawing in this expertise will build the reputation of Loch Ken and the surrounding area. With Glasgow hosting COP26, the world’s largest Climate conference next year, this work puts us on the national stage, demonstrating exemplar activity right here in Galloway.”
Ruth Wolstenholme, Sniffer MD and Director of Adaptation Scotland, said:
“We are very excited to be collaborating with Loch Ken Trust and with partners to build resilience to climate change in this locality, in a way that is inclusive and dynamic. The extent of the commitment and vision of those involved means that Climate Ready Ken is at the leading edge in contributing to Scotland’s pioneering approach to place based adaptation.”