At the heart of the Strathard community engagement is the ecosystem approach and working with the community to achieve it. The main aim of the ecosystem approach is to identify land management solutions in Strathard, reduce flood risk, manage natural resources and bring more benefits to the community and environment.
The project came about as a result of the Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment (RAFE) Delivery Board wanting to improve the working relationship between agencies, land owners and the local community, to create a stronger management of the environment.
The project involves working with the key landowners and project partners, Forest Enterprise and Comer Estate, to identify measures to deliver multiple benefits.
The ecosystems approach assesses the impact of changes to the management of natural resources, and the benefits to the people within the environment. At Strathard the focus of the approach is to identify the most sustainable type, location and combination of forestry and the land use management.
Through trialling this approach aims to integrate several land use policies in Strathard, including flood risk, forestry design and management, river basin management planning, climate change adaptation and mitigation, tourism, recreation and biodiversity objectives.
Community engagement is at the heart of an ecosystem approach by working with the Community Partnership, and engaging with local people to raise awareness of the benefits people derive from the landscape, as well as how the community can contribute to decision making.