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Friday, July 1, 2022

Strong Local Support for The Flow Country in Caithness and Sutherland

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The Flow Country in Caithness and Sutherland could soon become the World’s first peatland World Heritage Site on account of its blanket bog habitat and important biodiversity.

Highland Council is one of the lead agencies on the Flow Country Partnership, which has just finished a 17-day series of community drop-in sessions around Caithness and Sutherland to find out what local people thought about this exciting opportunity.

Climate Change Co-ordinator at Highland Council, Joe Perry, sits on the Flow Country Partnership Working Group and he said:

“We were delighted to speak to almost 250 people in-person at these events and to find a strong level of support for the World Heritage Site Project.”

For those who were unable to attend the drop-in sessions in person, there will also be an online consultation which will run into the summer.

You can take a look at the draft World Heritage Site boundary and give your thoughts on the project by visiting the dedicated Commonplace page: https://flowcountry.commonplace.is/

The Flow Country Partnership aims to submit its nomination to UNESCO by the end of 2022, after which they expect to find out whether or not The Flow Country will become a World Heritage Site in 2024.

To find out more about The Flow Country and keep up to date with the World Heritage Site bid, you can visit the dedicated website: https://www.theflowcountry.org.uk/

This Sunday (June 5) marks World Environment Day 2022 and Highland Council’s involvement with the Flow Country project is just one of the many ways the local authority is supporting action against climate change.

The 2022 World Environment Day campaign #OnlyOneEarth calls for ”collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.”

The local authority declared a climate and ecological emergency in 2019 and following that there have been exciting developments in renewable energy, the Council’s Salix Recycling Fund, the largest recycling fund in operation in Scotland, has helped deploy solar PV across 29 sites in Highland.

It has also partially funded the River Ness Hydro, a 93kw hydroelectric scheme which will produce ~550,000 kWh of renewable electricity annually and will host a unique visitor experience further strengthening the river as an attraction.

Moreover, the importance of Highland in the development of green hydrogen has been recognised.

The Highland Adapts initiative, led by Principal Project Manager Emma Whitham, is developing a region-based, partnership approach to climate change adaptation to ensure our highland communities are resilient to the effects of climate change.

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