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March 4, 2021
SKYECONNECT SECURES FUNDING TO EXPLORE THE OPTIONS FOR A ‘VISITOR PAYBACK’ SCHEME
SkyeConnect has been awarded a grant of £7700 by NatureScot, through the ‘Better Places Green Recovery Fund’
SkyeConnect has been awarded a grant of £7700 by NatureScot, through the ‘Better Places Green Recovery Fund’, to examine models for enabling visitors to Skye to have a greater appreciation of land management and to encourage voluntary donations that will support community initiatives.
The project is a collaboration between SkyeConnect, SAC Consulting in Portree (part of Scotland’s Rural College), Scottish Crofting Federation and the National Farmers Union. The funding will pay for consultancy and administration work to look at successful schemes elsewhere and generate options for pilot projects across Skye.
The idea for the project came from the realisation that some land managers and communities were experiencing a disproportionate impact on their lives and businesses as a result of the pre-Covid visitor boom, without income or access to funds to address issues. The work of land managers is critical in maintaining the
landscapes that visitors come to see, as well as providing public goods such as land for parking and footpaths across their land.
In the Lake District National Park, it has been demonstrated that visitors are willing to donate to support land management work where the benefits are clearly visible. Visitors are also keen to interact and learn about the management of the land.
The Skye project will enable crofters and farmers to interact with visitors to tell their story and the story of the land, enhancing the visitor experience and also encouraging donations through bespoke IT systems.
The first phase of the project, following an inception meeting with stakeholders, will involve the project consultant working with land managers and communities to identify four potential pilot projects where there is pressure on Common Property Resources. CPR’s are defined as natural resources owned and managed collectively by a community or society rather than by individuals.
SkyeConnect Project Manager, Alistair Danter, is pleased that the funding will enable the first phase of the project to get underway.
“This is an innovative project for Skye and another demonstration of SkyeConnect’s work in encouraging responsible and sustainable tourism. It is important that all communities benefit from Skye being one of the most popular visitor destinations in Scotland and this project is the first step in encouraging visitors to have a greater understanding of how the land is managed and, if they choose, to give something back by way of a voluntary donation. Many thanks to NatureScot for supporting our project to make visiting Skye an even better experience for both visitors and the community through the Better Places Fund for a Green recovery.”
Note to editors –
Interviews are available on request.
There are a number of social media tags related to the NatureScot ‘Better Places Green Recovery Fund’ – @NatureScot @GreenerScotland @VisitScotland @Scotgov