THREE EMINENT SPEAKERS GO ‘FULL FLOW’

Events, Flow Country, Nature, News, Opportunities, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage UK

Events to set out reasons to support UNESCO World Heritage Site status for The Flow Country

TV historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver and geology’s ‘rock star’ Professor Iain Stewart will be joined by UNESCO expert Professor Barry Gilbertson in a series of talks in the Highlands this summer that answer the question Why make The Flow Country a World Heritage Site?

The ‘Full Flow’ events, which will take place in Lairg, Thurso and Inverness on 5, 6, and 7 July respectively, invite audiences to hear about the environmental and cultural importance of The Flow Country in Sutherland and Caithness, addressing Scotland’s climate emergency, the need to protect the spectacular beauty and wildlife of the area’s unique habitat and the part it plays in the lives of people who live here.

Organised by a consortium of leading conservation bodies, including members of The Peatlands Partnership and event sponsor Wildland Limited, the three talks will promote and add context to an ongoing bid for UNESCO World Heritage Site Status for The Flow Country. With presentations from TV personalities, conservation experts and lovers of Scotland’s natural heritage, the hope is that the Full Flow events will appeal to a wide audience, including children and young people interested in what a World Heritage Site would mean for them.

Neil Oliver is a familiar face on TV and his documentaries on Scotland’s coastline have helped to put many remote places on the map. Prof Iain Stewart is UNESCO Chair of Geoscience and Society and Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth, is also a regular presenter of science programmes on the BBC, including the BAFTA nominated Earth: The Power of the Planet (2007).

Prof Barry Gilbertson holds Visiting Professorship appointments at University of Northumbria and at the Royal Agricultural University. In 2017, he took up a three year tenure as the Chairman of the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Project Co-ordinator for The Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group, Joe Perry, will be at the events to bring the conversations back to the current bid consultation process. He said: “Bringing together three such passionate advocates of Scotland’s natural and cultural environment will help to bring the bid process to life for many more people, including the younger generation whose support and enthusiasm for thriving communities and natural habitats we believe is absolutely crucial for the future stability of The Flow Country. The events will be entertaining and informative, setting out why The Flow Country is the best habitat of its type anywhere in the world and so deserving of special status on an international stage.

I encourage everyone to come along to one of the talks. As support for our World Heritage Site Project grows, this is a perfect opportunity to help shape the bid and be a part of something very special.”

Thomas MacDonell, Director of Conservation at Wildland Limited added: “The Flow Country is a fabulous natural feature. It’s already highly designated under various conservation laws and this World Heritage Status bid will give few additional constraints but afford much greater recognition and appreciation for this special place and create additional opportunities for those of us who live, work and play in this world class landscape.

“Wildland Limited is delighted to sponsor this event and we very much hope to engage and enthuse our younger generations to come and take part and begin to further appreciate our unique and precious landscapes.”

Full Flow Event Details:

July 5, 2019 Lairg Community Centre 7 – 9pm Free event (booking required)

http://bit.ly/full-flow-lairg

 

July 6. 2019 Thurso High School 7 – 9pm Free event (booking required)

http://bit.ly/full-flow-wick

 

July 7, 2019 Eden Court Theatre, Inverness 7 – 9pm Ticket Price, £9, Concession £5 (booking & ID required)

https://eden-court.co.uk/

All media enquires: Elizabeth Lambley, Indigo, 0131 554 1230, lizzylambley@indigopr.com

The Peatlands Partnership includes Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission (Scotland), The Highland Council, RSPB Scotland, Plantlife International, the Environmental Research Institute (University of the Highlands and Islands), Highland Third Sector Interface, the Flow Country Rivers Trust, Northern Deer Management Group and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It is chaired by Professor Stuart Gibb, Vice-Principal of UHI and Director of the ERI.

The Peatlands Partnership was formed at the end of 2006 following the completion of the EU LIFE funded Peatlands Project and aims to develop and build on that project. The Partnership comprises ‘core’ organisations, together with other interested organisations and individuals, who will carry out and support the objectives set out in the Management Strategy document, ‘The Peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland’.

The current activities of the Partnership include delivering the Flows to the Future project, revision of the Peatlands Management Strategy and as a forum for taking forward the possible listing of the Flow Country as a World Heritage Site.

Wildland Limited is a land conservation and tourism business established in 2007. It owns 221,000 acres, spanning three management areas: Wildland Cairngorm, Wildland North Coast (Sutherland) and Wildland Lochaber West Highlands, encompassing some of Highland Scotland’s most rugged and beautiful landscapes. Aldourie Castle on Loch Ness is included in the portfolio.

Wholly owned by Anders Holch Povlsen, Wildland Limited has 200 year vision for restoring and protecting the natural capital of the estates in its care by developing a world class portfolio of quality, design-led tourism experiences that support diverse economic opportunities for rural communities and allow guests to enjoy the best of Scotland’s hospitality, natural heritage and landscape.

With a staff of over 60 in Scotland, Wildland Limited also contributes directly into the communities in which it operates. Alongside the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Forestry Commission, it is a founding partner in Cairngorms Connect, the biggest habitat restoration project in Britain, while in Sutherland it has provided funds to appoint an officer to oversee the World Heritage Site Status bid and a local affordable housing officer.

New Coordinator at the Flow Country Tentative List World Heritage Site

Announcement, Flow Country, Jobs, Nature, News, scotland, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Welcome to World Heritage, Joe Perry! The Peatlands Partnership has just appointed Joe as their World Heritage Site Officer to take forward the idea of The Flow Country in Sutherland and Caithness becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS).

Joe is moving to the Highlands from Glasgow where he been working as a Project Manager for an environmental tour and experiences company that aims to connect young people in Scotland with our natural and cultural heritage.  In addition to an honours degree in history, he has an MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy.

Joe Perry

New Coordinator Joe Perry 

The Flow Country is an area of deep peat, dotted with bog pools, that blankets much of Caithness and Sutherland. The Flow Country is the largest expanse of blanket bog in Europe and covers about 200,000 hectares. A recent academic study has described The Flow Country as being “the best peatland of its type in the world”. The idea that the Flow Country could be inscribed as a World Heritage Site has been investigated by The Peatlands Partnership for some time and the area has been on the UK’s Tentative List of WHS since 1999. A World Heritage Site Working Group was set up by the Partnership in 2017 this short-life working group is independently chaired by Mrs Frances Gunn of The Highland 3rd Sector Alliance and will have a fixed purpose to develop and submit a Technical Evaluation to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by the summer of 2019.

A Technical Evaluation is essentially a scaled-down version of a ‘nomination’ (application) to UNESCO and is assessed by an independent panel. Whilst it is the Peatlands Partnership’s aspiration that The Flow Country becomes inscribed as a World Heritage Site, it is DCMS which will decide whether the case is sufficiently robust to nominate the site to UNESCO.

theflowcountry.org.uk

“the best peatland of its type in the world”?

A considerable amount of work is required to complete the process and Joe Perry has been appointed to assist the Working Group in delivering this.

The Working Group has to carry out three main tasks which will take up to 18 months to complete:

  • Develop a boundary for the proposed WHS in consultation with a wide range of community and other interests.
  • Carry out an extensive community consultation covering all aspects of what a WHS could mean to local communities.
  • Complete all the reports and information required to support the Technical Evaluation and submit this to DCMS in the summer of 2019.

Chair of the Working Group, Frances Gunn, said “In the past we have relied solely on a number of partners fitting this work in alongside all their other duties and so it’s a great step forward to have a Project Officer in post who can dedicate all their time to taking the World Heritage Site proposals forward, especially an all-important community consultation across Sutherland and Caithness.”

Frances added “I am particularly grateful to Highland Council who will act as host employer for Joe and I’m also delighted that we have funded this post from both the public and private sectors. The post is generously supported by Wildland Limited, RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and The Highland Council.”

Nicole Wallace, Highland Council’s Environment Manager pointed out “Highland Council is happy to help the Peatlands Partnership take the proposals for UNESCO World Heritage Site status forward and I look forward to Joe starting work on this exciting project next month.”

“We shouldn’t let the fact that the Flow Country has been identified as the best peatland of its type in the world pass us by.  A Flow Country World Heritage Site would not only be an enormous accolade for the area and the many organisations, land managers, crofters and farmers who have maintained this area for generations but it would also bring many positive development opportunities and undoubtedly some challenges too.”  

The Peatlands Partnership

The Peatlands Partnership includes:  Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, Forestry Commission (Scotland), RSPB Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, The Environmental Research Institute, Northern Deer Management Group, Flow Country Rivers Trust, The Highland Third Sector Interface and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It also liaises with local community groups, the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate and the North Sutherland Community Forest Trust.

The Partnerships is chaired by Professor Stuart Gibb of the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso and Highland Council’s representative on the Partnership is Nicole Wallace, Head of Environment.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Joe Perry  Project Coordinator, Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group

Joe.Perry@highland.gov.uk

07775 411270

Brigid Primrose Secretary: The Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group,

c/o Scottish Natural Heritage, Great Glen House, Inverness.

Brigid.Primrose@snh.gov.uk

01463 725251 

Ian Mitchell  Secretary: The Peatlands Partnership,

c/o Scottish Natural Heritage, The Links, Golspie.

peatlands_partnership@snh.gov.uk 

0300 067 3110  

WWW.THEFLOWCOUNTRY.ORG.UK

Project coordinator sought for proposed Flow Country UNESCO World Heritage Site

Announcement, communications, Conservation, Flow Country, Jobs, News, Opportunities, scotland, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Job opportunity!

theflowcountry.org.uk

credit: theflowcountry.org.uk

The Peatlands Partnership and the Flow Country proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site Steering Group wish to appoint a Project Coordinator to take forward the Technical Evaluation for submission to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2019. The post has been advertised by Highland Council on My JobScotland where you can find more details at https://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/highland-council/jobs/world-heritage-project-co-ordinator-114206 .