Scots pair recognised for ‘driving positive change’ in 2022

TWO Scots entries have made it onto a Top Ten list of places in the UK that have ‘driven positive change’ in 2022.

The list – compiled by the ‘good news’ website, Positive.News – features a rewilding project in the Scottish borders and also a community buy-out of what is considered the UK’s most remote pub.

The rewilding project is a nature reserve near Langholm, in Dumfries and Galloway. It has involved two purchases of land from local landowner, Bucchleuch Estate, both financed by crowdfunding: £3.8m, to purchase 5,200 acres, followed by £2.2m to buy a further 5,300 acres.

Says The Langholm Initiative, here, the 10,500-acre reserve will aim to tackle the “nature and climate crises”, and boost community regeneration.

The remote pub, The Old Forge, is located on the Knoydart peninsula in north-west Scotland and is accessible only by boat (seven miles from Mallaig) or an 18-mile hike (over mountains). It serves the village of Inverie (population just over 100). After being put up for sale in February 2021, by the previous owner, local people launched a crowdfunding target and a community shares offer (as explained, here).

The other eight in the Positive.News list, here, are:

London Borough of Waltham Forest, England – for its ‘Dutch-style’ roads infrastructure and divesting its pension fund of fossil fuels-based investments;

Manchester City Council, England – for its programme to retrofit energy-inefficient, ‘leaky’ lofts in 1.2m homes;

Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust, England – for introducing bison (actually, it’s a re-introduction) into the Canterbury countryside;

Belfast, Northen Ireland – for the neighbours who turned their dreary and litter-strewn back lane in to a garden paradise and the several copycat schemes since;

Bristol, England – for the community group which has finally secured permission to erect an onshore wind turbine, to be built in a housing estate;

Blaenau Gwent, Wales – for establishing a local ‘climate assembly’;

Islington Council, London, England, in partnership with the NHS – using local barbers to act as mental health champions to young black men and boys; and

London Borough of Hounslow, England – the creation of community orchards and allotments on vacant land.

Pictured: The Old Forge, Knoydart, Picture credit: Stephanie Harris

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