‘Lighting A Spark’ To Share Inspiring Ideas About Land Use Across Scotland

  • Communities across Scotland will be invited to share thoughts and ideas on how local land is used e.g. in terms of food production, recreation, climate change mitigation and nature enhancement and protection
  • A new initiative where all voices are heard, visions are shared and communities feel empowered
  • A dynamic series of participative sessions aim to provide a platform for communities and Regional Land Use Partnerships (RLUPs) to work together and meet multiple local and national objectives
  • The programme is delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy in conjunction with Regional Land Use Partnerships, and is funded by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Rural Network

A new approach to strengthen community engagement in local land use is being carried out across Scotland this autumn. Local people are invited to take part in a unique community learning programme which will start with open webinars entitled ‘Lighting a Spark’. 

The programme will be delivered in North East Scotland, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and South of Scotland over the next six months. It is led by the Social Enterprise Academy on behalf of the Regional Land Use Partnership (RLUP) pilots in these areas. Its purpose is to support and strengthen community inclusion in land use decision making. The Social Enterprise Academy will work with the RLUPs and their identified communities to develop a local vision for land use.

The webinars will happen on the evenings of Thursday 25 and Tuesday 30 August, where guest speakers will share their experiences and ideas of transformational land use change. Facilitated sessions will give everyone an opportunity to ask questions and share their views. Participants will emerge with fresh ideas and understanding of using land to address shared challenges such as securing local employment, addressing climate change and halting the loss of nature.

Registration is now open to anyone living or working in Aberdeenshire, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway. No experience or prior knowledge of rural issues is necessary, the partners are keen to listen to the ‘less heard voices’ in the communities and encourage people who don’t normally engage in this type of exercise to come along and share their views.

Following these webinars, the RLUPs have identified four communities or smaller areas where the Social Enterprise Academy will deliver more focused engagement sessions:

  • Ugie catchment, Buchan, NE Aberdeenshire
  • Lochgoil area, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
  • Newcastleton, Scottish Borders
  • The Glenkens, Dumfries & Galloway

These collaborative sessions will provide a foundation for communities to shape positive futures through the agreement of a land use vision. At the end of the programme, participants will have the opportunity to present and discuss their vision with the relevant RLUP. This empowering experience will help give voice to the communities’ needs and wishes.



David Bryan, Head of Sustainable Business at the Social Enterprise Academy said:

“How Scotland’s rural land is used is important for all our futures – for things like net zero, biodiversity and flood prevention, as well as jobs in key industries like food production and tourism. Rural landscapes are also a cultural resource; they say something about who we are as a people, as a nation. We’re inviting everyone with an interest in rural land use to come together, have their voices heard. We’re inviting communities to develop a shared vision of what we want landscapes of the future to look like, to meet the needs of future generations and the planet”

Mairi McAllan, Minister of the Environment and Land Reform said:

“As Scotland moves towards net zero emissions, it is important that communities can come together and contribute their vision for future local land use. People are connected to the land around them and finding the best use of the land can bring positive benefits to the whole community. 
“This Community Learning Programme invites local people to think about how land use could improve their environment, wellbeing and prosperity. I will look forward to hearing the insights and ideas gathered through this work.”

To register interest and to receive further information on the ‘Lighting a Spark’ webinars please visit:


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