In 2020, Adaptation Scotland selected the Loch Ken area to trial a new approach to climate resilience, taking a ‘place-based’ method to raise the profile of climate adaptation. Work has been underway by local and national partners over the last couple of years and a case study has now been published, highlighting work done and lessons learned.
Climate Adaptation is different from Emission reduction. Even if emissions were to cease overnight, the climate is already changing. We need to focus on ‘adapting’ to these changes that are already underway. The Adaptation Scotland programme, funded by the Scottish Government, provides advice and support to help organisations, businesses and communities prepare for, and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation Scotland sought to work with Loch Ken Trust due to their interest in the topic of adaptation and the loch’s enviable location in the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, the Galloway Dark Sky Park and neighbouring Galloway Forest Park.
Work undertaken over the last couple of years includes public events on the topic of adaptation, articles in publications, production of digital and physical assets and targeted engagement or ‘whirlwind’ sessions with key stakeholders. The case study of the project is now published here: https://www.adaptationscotland.org.uk/how-adapt/case-studies/climate-ready-ken-what-happens-when-community-development-tr.
An animation of the project has also been published, available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS1L1o3u5eo.
Barnaby Fryer, Loch Ken Trust Officer, said:
“Climate change is real and affecting our communities right now. Storm Arwen and other recent extreme weather events have shown us just how unprepared we all are for dealing with the impacts of a changing climate. The Loch Ken Plan is all about trying to support our communities to get ready for the future. We need everyone to get involved if we are to minimise the worst impacts and make the most of the opportunities. We would urge everyone who lives, works or plays at Loch Ken to join Loch Ken Trust and help us make a difference.”
Iryna Zamuruieva, Adaptation Scotland’s Climate Resilience Manager, said:
“One of the challenges with working on climate change adaptation at a community/locality scale is lack of understanding of what climate change actually means for the particular place – not as an abstract phenomenon somewhere else, but right there on the street, in the local lake, forest, house, community. That’s why we spent a lot of time with the Climate Ready Ken team engaging people living and working in the Loch Ken area in discussing how they are already affected by the changing climate: warmer and wetter weather with more extreme weather events, all this is already felt in the region. It’s great to see local organisations, like Loch Ken Trust and Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership leading local efforts to build this understanding and adapt to the impacts of climate change as part of Climate Ready Ken project. I hope that Loch Ken Trust can continue doing this important work and that Dumfries and Galloway Council can help upscale it and enable other communities in the area to be proactive in building resilience and adapting to climate change.”
The project was a collaboration between the Loch Ken Trust, Adaptation Scotland, The Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, The Galloway Glens Scheme, Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team and other local groups and individuals.