Climate-minded work takes root in Kintyre

SKDT campaign Kintyre Climate Action’s new team can reflect on a positive first month’s work after forging some potentially fruitful community partnerships across the peninsula.

South Kintyre Development Trust’s (SKDT) Sharyn Lock, climate action development officer, and Hannah Jones, the trust’s community growing coordinator, have been busy forming working partnerships and spreading climate-minded and food growing knowledge, with everyone from young people to Kintyre-based charities and community groups.

They are joined by Ed Tyler, the trust’s community garden advisor, who brings a wealth of experience in community gardening and ecology.

Hannah has welcomed school and nursery groups from Glenbarr and Campbeltown to her Bellochantuy-based Farm Stall, to learn about growing dozens of big pumpkins in a patch from tiny seeds in soil, while back in Campbeltown, she got stuck in with pitchfork and wheelbarrow to help the Dalintober Eco Club take their first steps since 2019 to reshape their school garden.

She said: “It is about getting young people to understand the growing concept each step of the way and building the knowledge that people can grow their own food.

“Their enthusiasm and curiosity they have shown around growing your own food has been brilliant.”

A busy September calendar saw the SKDT host a seminar on Climate Action Towns, led by Architecture and Design Scotland (ADS) in the town hall.

Campbeltown is one of nine in Scotland identified by the Scottish Government so far as vulnerable to climate change.

Some of the changes discussed, from ‘easy wins’ – such as tree planting and ‘bug hotels’ to absorb flood water, and promote biodiversity – to longer-term responses to a potential climate impact on the region, will be added to a revised version of SKDT’s Community Action Plan (2022-27) for Campbeltown.

Campbeltown Town Hall was the venue for the SKDT-hosted Climate Action Towns meeting, led by Architecture and Design Scotland (ADS) in late September.

At the meeting, Sharyn, one of the founders of low-waste grocery shop Kintyre Weigh in the town’s Main Street, urged the importance of community input into climate-related challenges.

Hannah and Ed have also worked on the trust’s fruit and herb garden on the Quarry Green in Campbeltown, with help from Jim Lang who maintains the nearby putting green.

Ed has serious skills in plant identification and we will be posting his regular updates on plant species naturally found in Kintyre, and some grown here, through the Trust’s Instagram account @SouthKintyreDT 

Earlier this month, both SKDT and Inspiralba employees took part in a participatory leadership course in Comrie Croft, Perthshire.

Ailsa Clark, Inspiralba founder, farthest right, with fellow attendees, including from SKDT, at a participatory leadership course in Perthshire earlier this month.

Ailsa Clark, Inspiralba founder, said: “From the Art of Participatory Leadership course, it was great to see Kintyre well represented when discussing ‘wellbeing economy’ and what that means for our local environment.

“We also hosted a visit from Anna Chworow, deputy director at Nourish Scotland, and John Coghill from the Hebridean Diner, to discuss how we can support food security for all in Kintyre.”

For more information on upcoming events visit Kintyre Climate Action on Facebook or call in to the Kintyre Weigh store in Campbeltown.

John Coghill from the Hebridean Diner, left, and Anna Chworow, deputy director at Nourish Scotland, with Hannah Jones of SKDT at the Farm Stall in Bellochantuy.