6 November 08
Climate Challenge Fund For Communities - Up To
change is one of the biggest challenges facing us today. There are many
things we can do as individuals to reduce our impact on climate change but
if we act together as communities we can do even more. The Climate
Challenge Fund is here to help communities make a real difference by
significantly reducing carbon emissions. There is no set grant and no
minimum level of award but a £1,000,000 maximum has been set. The Fund
offers grants to community organisations to help with planning, learning,
communications and most importantly local action to reduce carbon
emissions. Projects can involve a range of actions, from helping people to
use less energy at home, to encouraging more walking and cycling and
eating more locally produced food.
Who can apply?
Applications can be made by:
• Local voluntary, not-for-profit and charitable organisations
• Community groups working in partnership with Universities and Colleges
• Community groups working in partnership with national voluntary, not for
profit and charitable organisations
• Community groups working in partnership with Local Authorities
• Community groups working in partnership with Housing Associations
• Community groups working in partnership with Community Planning
To qualify for funding communities will need to
demonstrate that their projects will:
• Make a significant carbon emissions reduction and bring wider
environmental, social and economic benefits
• Be community based and have the community at the centre of decision
• Seek to improve quality of life now and for future generations.
Funding is already supporting projects which could be
reproduced by other communities. For example, in Dumfries, school students
being encouraged to use bikes for local travel. Elsewhere, community
energy efficiency schemes are helping to combat fuel poverty.
How can I find out more?
For more information on how to apply please contact the fund
Telephone: 01786 471333
An expression of interest form and more guidance on applications are
10 July 08
Plastic Recycling – Council has it bottled!
In April 2008 The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee gave the go
ahead to introduce facilities for plastic bottle recycling at a number of
Recycling Centres throughout Highland. Now plastic bottles marked with
either a 1 or a 2 in a small triangle can be recycled at the Centres in
Wick, Thurso, Tain, Alness, Dingwall, Inverness, Nairn , Aviemore
and Fort William. Type 1 bottles (PET) are mainly used for
fizzy drinks and type 2 (HDPE) are used as milk cartons or for detergents.
The Council urges everyone to try and make sure only bottles marked 1 and 2
are deposited in the banks as other plastics will contaminate the load,
this may lead to a need to dispose of the materials rather than recycling
them. (Tip From Bill Fernie - Remember to remove bottle tops before
you go to the recycling centre as these are not wanted due to the fact
they are made of a different type of plastic that cannot be mixed in the
recycling - Bill recently took a couple of hundred plastic bottles to the
centre for the first time and had to stand and take of all the tops)
2 June 08
Community Woodlands Photography Competition
Woodlands Association is sponsoring a Community Woodlands
Photography Competition. Individual Prizes - First, second and third
prizes will be awarded in each of three age groups. First prize winners in
each category will have their images reproduced as one of a set of four
postcards to be distributed nationwide. The judges for the age group
categories will include Matthew Dalziel of the artistic partnership
Dalziel + Scullion
www.dalzielandscullion.com A fourth, individual prize will be
selected from all the other entries by CWA Directors. The winner in this
category will also have their image reproduced as a postcard to make up
the set of four. Community Woodland Prize - There is also a prize for one
lucky Community Woodland member group. The prize will be a fantastic one
day photography workshop with a professional photographer, for up to 10
participants. The photographer will be selected by CWA and we will also be
able to offer support to arrange the event and take bookings if you would
like help. All you have to do is provide the woodland venue. The winning
community woodland will be chosen via a prize draw. All entries, submitted
by the 1st September 2008 deadline, will go into a 'hat' and the workshop
prize will be awarded to the first member woodland out the 'hat'.
Full details and entry forms at
15 May 08
Caithness Recycling Service Expands
People in Caithness are benefiting from
further expansion of The Highland Council's
kerbside recycling collection service for
paper, cans and garden waste.
Mr William Nicolson from Battery Road in
Castletown is one of 500 households
benefiting from the roll out of the scheme,
bringing the total number of households in
Caithness to 8,000 and around 70,000 in
total throughout Highland.
Chairman of TEC Services, Councillor John
Laing said: "It's great to see further
expansion of the kerbside recycling scheme
throughout Caithness. People want to
recycle, and they are supportive of the
opportunities to do so."
The introduction of the Kerbsider is one
element of The Highland Council's strategy to fulfil the targets of the
Highland Area Waste Plan.
17 April 08
Caithness Countryside Volunteers Plant New Hedging
Caithness Countryside Volunteers enjoyed a morning planting a holly,
blackthorn and hawthorn hedge on some croft land last weekend, taking a
short break to help feed the pet lambs. These species of tree were chosen
to provide a biodiversity rich habitat as well as to withstand the
Caithness weather. The hedge should also provide shelter for lambs in
years to come. Refreshments and some trees were funded by Community
Service Volunteer Action Earth Awards. The event was organised by the
Highland Council's Rangers in the Planning and Development Service as part
of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers calendar.
7 April 08
Get A Free Energy Advice Visit - You Could Win a
Energy Advice has a 15” LCD television up for grabs in their summer
raffle. If you are interested in having a home visit to get free energy
advice on your home energy bills/systems you will automatically be entered
into the raffle*.
CEA’s aim is to help people keep warm and pay less for their energy.
To accomplish this, the team assesses the current level of energy
efficiency in homes in the Caithness area, raises awareness of choices
available to take charge of household energy bills, and partners with
existing organisations for a coordinated, long range approach to reducing
fuel poverty. The Energy Advice team can guide householders to energy
savings by identifying issues such as poor insulation, problem door/
window seals, electrical equipment left on standby and incorrect use of
heating systems. This is a community project based in Ormlie and
available across Caithness giving FREE unbiased advice on how to reduce
your energy bills. Competition runs up until 29th August 2008 but
why wait - GIVE THEM A CALL SOON.
25 February 08
Highland Council in line for top recycling award
The Highland Council is in the frame to be crowned Scotland's top local
authority for community recycling, at a major awards ceremony to be held
Highland Council has made it through to the final
stages of the competition and will now compete against both Falkirk and
Moray Council for a chance to scoop the Local Authority Partnership Award,
at this year's Community Recycling Network for Scotland (CRNS) 2008
The Awards ceremony, which takes place at Perth Concert
Hall on March 11th, will recognise the most successful and innovative
community recycling projects which have taken place over the last 12
months in Scotland.
Highland Council has been shortlisted in recognition of
its support for nine community recycling enterprises across the Highlands
and Islands region, including projects based in Acharacle, Fort William,
Uig, Bettyhill, Thurso, Golspie, Evanton, Alness and Inverness.
Through the allocation of Waste Diversion agreements,
the Council works with organisations to reduce the amount of waste
diverted to landfills and ensure as much waste as possible is reused and
Through this partnership, the Council will divert 4,000
tonnes of municipal waste from landfill disposal for 2007-2008, which
accounts for 8% of the area's recycling activities.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland
Council's TEC Services Committee and spokesperson for Waste Management
said: "We are delighted to be shortlisted for the CRNS Awards as it is
another way in which we can help to raise awareness about the importance
of recycling and the need for community involvement.
"The community sector in Highland provides a wide
variety of services, including collection of furniture and other household
items for reuse from our recycling centres, community composting, wood
reuse & recycling and kerbside recycling.
"The groups have benefited from over £600k of funding
from the Strategic Waste Fund and a further £200k from the council's
landfill diversion budget in 2007/08. This amount of funding will be
available to the groups for the forthcoming financial year."
The council joins 10 other leading organisations and
initiatives selected to compete in one of three award categories, namely
CRNS Member of the Year, Innovation Award, and the Local Authority
This year's accolades have been the most hotly
contested in the CRNS' awards history, as a total of 42 high quality
nominations were received from existing community recycling projects
across the whole of Scotland.
CRNS Network Director, Iain Gulland, said: "The
finalists for this year's CRNS More Than Recycling Awards 08 really
illustrate the diversity of the Scottish community recycling sector, as
well as bearing testament to the real social, economical and environmental
benefits which can be reaped by Scottish communities.
"As a growing trend in Scotland, community recycling is
a sector which now has an annual turnover in excess of £26 million and
employs over 1,100 people nationally, as well as offering another 950
training places and providing 3,200 volunteer opportunities.
"We hope our More Than Recycling 08 Conference will
illustrate exactly how much potential community recycling has to help
communities on a practical level as well as protecting the environment in
general, and that this encourages more projects to emerge and more local
The CRNS Award-winners will be announced at the More
Than Recycling Conference, which will be held on the 11th March at Perth
Poised to be the biggest ever gathering of people
committed to realising the potential of the community recycling sector in
Scotland, 'More Than Recycling 08' boast a strong line-up of speakers from
a variety of backgrounds within the industry.
To book a place at 'More Than Recycling 08' visit
www.crns.org.uk/index/mtr08 or call 01786 469002
26 November 07
Switching on to energy saving…for FREE
As the days are getting darker and we are using more energy to keep
our homes light, why not take advantage of this free energy saving light
bulb offer to help keep energy costs down. The North Highland branch of
Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (HICEC) is running a
project to distribute energy saving light bulbs across the North
Highlands. HICEC in association with EDF energy has teamed up with
Highland Community Care Forum (HCCF), East Sutherland Voluntary Advice
Service (ESVAS), Caithness Voluntary Groups (CVG) and Family First to
distribute the free energy saving light bulbs to community members across
Sutherland, Caithness and Rosshire.
To qualify for the free bulbs community members must
receive one of the following benefits: Council tax benefit; housing
benefit; income support; income-based job seekers allowance; attendance
allowance; disability allowance; war disablement pension; disablement
pension; state pension credit; child tax credit or working tax credit.
Melanie MacRae, Assistant Development Officer for the
North Highlands from HICEC is coordinating the project for the area. “It
is really important to raise the awareness among our communities of the
savings that can be made from using energy more efficiently. Lighting can
account for up to 10 % of the average domestic electricity bill. The use
of energy saving light bulbs is a very quick and simple option to reduce
your energy bills and cut carbon dioxide emissions, saving the environment
and your purse!. Energy efficient light bulbs use less than a quarter of
the electricity of ordinary light bulbs, can last up to 15 times longer,
and produce 70% less CO2 emissions than ordinary incandescent light bulbs”
For information on how to receive the bulbs contact any
of the organisations below
|North West, Sutherland &
|Community Care Forum
18 November 07
Caithness Energy Advice Project - Caithness Project
Winter Warmth Packs
The Caithness Energy Advice Team will be giving away Free Winter Warmth
packs which contain information about how to keep warm, energy-saving tips
and useful contacts. The Free Winter Warmth packs will be up for grabs
during Ormlie Community Association’s latest awareness raising events,
tacking fuel poverty and increasing energy efficiency for Caithness
householders. The events are part of the Warm Homes Campaign Award Scheme
which is one aspect of the Warm Homes Campaign, organized by National
Energy Action (NEA) and Energy Action Scotland, which is taking place
throughout the UK from the end of November. The campaign aims to raise
awareness of the financial help available to people who cannot afford to
heat their homes to try and reduce cold-related illnesses and excess
winter deaths and is organised in association with eaga.
Drop-in events for householders:
Tuesday 27 November – 9.30am to 4.30pm–Wick Family Centre Wick
Wednesday 28 November – 9.30am to 12.30pm – British Legion, Thurso
Deadly seal virus returns to Europe
Following the reports that
PDV (Phocine Distemper Virus) has been reported in
British Divers Marine Life Rescue
has started to make contingency plans
should the virus reach the UK seal colonies as it has done in the past
outbreaks in 1988 and 2002.
BDMLR has a ‘handling protocol’ in place, which was
drawn up during the last outbreak of PDV in 2002.
BDMLR has already made contact with a number of other
organisations  which have previously been involved with the response
and challenges required to deal with the results of the effects of the
Tony Woodley, BDMLR’s national press officer, said
"British Divers Marine Life Rescue was formed during the first outbreak of
this virus in 1988 and in 2002 our volunteers around the UK again helped
the Common seals affected. Our veterinary advisers confirm that on both
these previous occasions the virus took a number of weeks to reach the UK
shores from the rest of Europe."
"BDMLR has contingency plans in place and we will be
briefing our network of volunteers and have already started to communicate
with other organisations within the M.A.R.C.  to ensure we are ready
for when the virus reaches the UK", continued Tony.
The virus does not affect humans but members of the
public are advised to keep dogs away from seals.
20 June 07
Funding Extends Energy Project Till 2009
Renewable energy Project run by Ormlie Community Association has received
new funding of £89,126 that will mean they can take on extra staff and
ensure the project keeps going until March 2009. Louise Smith, Ormlie Community Association’s Project
Manager for Renewable Energy, said, “We are delighted to have been given
this opportunity to join the ranks of excellent projects that Scottish
Power’s Energy People Trust have funded as part of their commitment to end
fuel poverty. Our Energy SOS Project was established last year and has
grown from strength to strength thanks to the commitment of staff,
volunteers, partners and funders. It is one arm of the Caithness Energy
Advice Project, the other being energy efficiency and renewables research
in conjunction with Pentland Housing Association.
13 March 07
Dumpers To Get On The Spot Fines
The Highland Council are to issue £50 Fixed Penalty Notices to people in the
Inverness Area who break the law by illegally dumping their rubbish. This
new approach has come about as a result of an update to the Environmental
Protection Act 1990 and Anti Social Behaviour legislation which saw the
introduction of new powers for Local Authority Officers and Police Officers
alike who are now given similar powers by offering culprits the opportunity
of discharging any liability for the offence by accepting a fixed penalty
notice for small scale fly tipping whether domestic or commercial.
This new approach will be implemented with immediate effect
and Local Authority officers will be actively investigating reports of fly
tipping and where evidence is found that connects the waste to an address
the offender will be visited and issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Since the 1st January 2007 in the Inverness area there have
been over 200 reports of fly tipping received from members of the public
which the Council's TEC Service have responded to and uplifted the waste.
Community Warden Lorna Jackson said: "This level of fly
tipping is a huge cost to the council which must now be tackled by carrying
out more thorough investigations. Where the dumping is of a larger scale,
the offender will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for the consideration
of a prosecution, if convicted the fine can be anything up to £40,000 and
carries the possibility of a six month jail sentence.
"There are of course other powers contained within the
Environmental Protection Act 1990 which the Council can use to force
landowners to keep land under their control litter and waste free and these
will also be utilised where a solution cannot be reached by amicable
agreement, these powers extend to private land and can include street litter
where the presence of litter on the street or adjacent land has originated
from a particular business. Another measure the council will be implementing
is the issuing of fixed penalty notices to litter offenders this means that
any one caught dropping litter will be issued a £50 fixed penalty notice."
Although the council find it necessary to implement these
tough measures to tackle the problems associated with fly tipping and
littering they would encourage communities and community groups to take a
pride in the environment where they live and participate in community clean
Keep Scotland Beautiful is an organisation which can provide
all the information and support communities need to carry out a clean up and
welcome participants to contact them especially during the month of April
when events will be organised on a national basis as part of National Spring
Clean. Any group that is interested in organising a Community Clean can
register on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website
www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org where they will receive
advice and assistance on organising a community cleaning event.
12 January 07
E-newsletter Of North Highland Forest Trust
Published on 20 December we are delighted to bring you the latest edition
that anyone with an interest in trees and forests might find something
useful or of interest.
11 December 06
Lucky Winners To Have Inside View Of Scotland's
people have got the chance to win a special trip to one of Scotland's most
scenic National Nature Reserves in a competition run by Scottish Natural
Heritage (SNH). Guided by a wildlife expert, four lucky people will
experience the sights and sounds at first hand.
The trips are on offer in a prize draw for people who
complete a questionnaire on the SNH 2006 Annual Review by mid January 2007.
The review sets out the work of SNH over the last year, from management of
reserves to supporting Scotland's new access legislation and encouraging
biodiversity by offering more than £15million in grants. The accompanying
short questionnaire enables people to have their say about the review and
also be entered into the draw.
There are four prizes: a special guided boat trip to Loch
Maree Islands National Nature Reserve (NNR), near Kinlochewe; helping with a
dawn goose count at Caerlaverock NNR in Dumfriesshire; the chance to be
special guests on the Isle of May NNR in the Firth of Forth and a guided
shore walk with an SNH marine biologist exploring rock pools.
Anyone interested can get the review and the accompanying
questionnaire free from SNH Publications, Battleby, Redgorton, Perth, PH1
3EW. Telephone 01738 444177.
It is also available via SNH's website
and from SNH offices. The deadline for competition entries is 15 January
11 October 06
Making Progress On War On Waste In Highland
Highland Council achieved a dramatic expansion in recycling provision
through the extension of kerbside collections to 48,000 households, the
opening of five new Recycling Centres at Wick, Thurso, Dingwall, Fort
William and Nairn and the development of a network of 175 Recycling Points.
At March 2006, Highland had achieved a recycling rate of 19.9%.
28 September 06
Keiss Beach Tidy Up
A group of 19 volunteers took part in this years' Beachwatch at Keiss beach
on Saturday 16th September 2006. The clean-up was organised by the Highland
Council Planning and Developments' countryside rangers as part of the
national event, the most extensive monitoring programme in Europe for
coastal and marine litter. Members of the Caithness Critters, Caithness
Countryside Volunteers and members of the public took part in the event to
help rid the beach of unsightly and dangerous litter. The group removed
marine debris and litter from 110m of rocky shore area by the Keiss beach
car park. The types and quantities of litter were recorded for data
collection by the Marine Conservation Society. This year at Keiss; plastic,
rope, strapping and fishing net accounted for much of the debris.
31 August 06
Highland Council Launches Home Composting Scheme
This week The Highland Council launches its Home Composting scheme in
Caithness and Sutherland offering residents a lifetime's supply of free
compost if they buy a discounted compost bin for their garden for only
This special offer is available until 30th September and as
the demand is expected to be high, the Council is advising anyone
interested in buying a compost bin to order theirs early. Postcards
detailing how to take up the discount deal will be delivered to
Composting is a recycling technique that uses natural
processes to convert organic materials to humus through the action of
microorganisms and bacteria in soil. Compost is a mixture that consists
largely of decayed organic matter, such as garden and kitchen waste, and
is used for fertilising and conditioning land.
Both seasoned and occasional gardeners are being encouraged
to take up home composting and help to significantly reduce the amount of
domestic and commercial waste that goes to landfill.
This campaign is a partnership between The Highland
Council, WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) and The Scottish
Waste Awareness Group.
The Council's spokesperson on Waste Management, Councillor
Bill Fulton said: "Composting selected kitchen and garden waste is an
effective way of reducing, reusing and recycling some of the daily waste
we produce, while providing significant benefits for our gardens and the
wider environment. It is easy to do and once you start you will be
surprised just how much of your daily household waste can be recycled this
A similar offer was available last year to residents of
Skye and Lochalsh and Wester Ross and areas of Sutherland. This proved to
be a great success with over 2,000 compost bins being purchased. Skye and
Lochalsh will be targeted again in October.
27 July 06
Trinkathon A Big Hit As Sun Shines On In Caithness
Sunday 23rd July 2006 was successful day for organisers of Annual Trinkathon, warm weather ensured a very good turnout and £531 was raised
towards future maintenance and equipment. David Hall representing the
Royal Mail was on hand to present the North Bath Cup [won this
year by the Trinkie team] this cup was generously donated by the Royal
30 May 06
Hours At Caithness Recycling Centres And Community Skip Provision
Following a report presented to the Caithness Area TEC Services Committee
yesterday (Monday 29 May) on Monday, the opening hours at the recycling
centres in Wick and Thurso will be changed to reflect demand and the
community skips in Halkirk, Castletown and Lybster will be removed.
16 May 06
May Newsletter for North Highland Forest Trust
Packed with information about visits, walks funding and
North Highland Forestry Trust Annual
26 April 06
Comes Together At Newtonhill Community Woodland
energetic bunch of volunteers headed to Newtonhill Community Woodland,
Wick last Saturday to take part in a tree planting and clean up event. The
day was organised though Highland Council's Planning and development
Service local countryside ranger. The trees were funded through a grant
scheme run by the Community Woodland Association and Trees for All
Council. Refreshments for the volunteers were funded by the Community
Service Volunteers Action Earth supported by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Over 30 volunteers from the Friends of Newtonhill Woodland, Wick Rotary
Club and Caithness Countryside Volunteers worked together on the day to
plant 90 broadleaf trees including alder, white beam, birch, black thorn
and bird cherry.
30 March 06
Halkirk Gets Kerbside Recycling
Following on from the success of the
Kerbside recycling collections which began last April in Wick and Thurso,
The Highland Council has decided to expand the service to include another
350 households in Halkirk on the garden waste collection service. Each household on the route in Halkirk
has recently been supplied with an additional brown wheelie bin and a
Kerbside recycling calendar giving the collection dates. The new recycling
collections will start on Friday 14 April 2006 and will operate on a
fortnightly basis. The normal refuse collection will be unaffected.
28 March 06
Highland Forest Trust
NHFT publishes a newsletter packed with information and
until they begin publishing on an upgraded web site at alter date we will
publish it via Caithness.org The March Newsletter is now online and
is 18 pages of information on funding schemes and anything connected to
forestry in Caithness and Sutherland
21 February 06
DUNNET FOREST TREE PLANTING
30 volunteers turned out to help plant trees
at Dunnet forest last Saturday. The planting
was organised by Highland Council's Planning
and Development Service countryside rangers
and Dunnet Forest community forester, Jon
Hollingdale as part of the
Caithness Countryside Volunteer
Caithness Critter programme of
events. A mix of approximately 400 broadleaf
trees were planted, staked and guarded in a
recent felled area. The event was part of
the Community Service Volunteers Action
Earth supported by Scottish Natural
Heritage. After the tree planting, all the
volunteers rested at the Northern Sands
Hotel where a sandwich lunch and
refreshments were provided.
6 February 06
SEPA WELCOMES HOUSEHOLD WASTE CONSULTATION
The amount of household waste produced in Scotland is growing at an
alarming rate and if changes aren't made it may double within 20 years.
The average Scottish consumer wastes £1597
per year on goods and services that they don't use, £438 of this is
In a bid to stem this disturbing growth in
waste, the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Environment Protection
Agency (SEPA) have published a consultation paper detailing actions which
could be taken by everyone.
Questions are being asked of designers,
retailers, consumers and local authorities and include;
· What more can be done to promote ecodesign
in Scotland, and what can be done to lengthen the lifespan of products?
· What further action could be taken to
minimise packaging waste and would deposit-refund schemes be the answer?
· What information on products should be used
to help people choose low waste alternatives?
· Should we look further at charging
households for the amount of waste they produce?
· What could be done to reduce the amount of
junk mail we all receive, and the numbers of plastic bags that we consume?
Make sure your opinions are heard.
Go To the Consultation on the Scottish Executive web
· Scotland's National Waste Strategy set an
aim of 0% growth in municipal waste arising by the year 2010.
· Recycling rates have been improving (most recent results for the quarter
July - September 2005) show recycling standing at 25.1%,
· However, municipal waste continues to
increase - by around 2% a year.
The reasons for this growth are complex:
· we have more money than ever before
· goods, especially food, clothes and electronic items, are cheaper than
· more single person households, each requiring their own set of household
· people want more convenience, buying highly packaged ready meals and a
vast array of disposable items; and
· changing attitudes - there is no longer an attitude of 'make do and
13 January 06
GRANTS FOR PLANTING TREES
The Tree Council, a national charity that promotes the planting and
conservation of trees in town and countryside has two grant schemes
available for 2006. These are the Trees for Schools Fund and the
Communities Tree Fund. Under these funds grants of up to £700 are
available both to schools and community groups proposing to undertake
well-planned tree planting projects starting in 2006 during National Tree
Week, 22nd November to 3rd December. The closing date for both funding
streams is the 31st May 2006.
10 January 06
HIGHLAND COUNCIL ON
COURSE TO HIT RECYCLING TARGET
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of everyone living in the region The
Highland Council is on course to reach its recycling target of 17.6% by