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Talking About Our Place toolkit

Help your community to care for your local landscape by using our toolkit to uncover the issues at stake.

Every place in Scotland is special or unique in some way, and your local place is no exception. Whatever the landscape around you, it will contribute to the identity of your place and to how you feel about it.

It can be easy to take for granted what you value about your surroundings. And you may feel you don’t have a say in the changes that happen in your place. Getting involved as a community can help you to feel heard.

Talking About Our Place toolkit

Our toolkit provides guidance, resources and ideas to help you to think about and discuss your landscape as a community. You can also read the case studies to see what others like you have achieved elsewhere using the toolkit.

The toolkit can help you to:

  • explore what makes your place special
  • recognise what benefits your place provides for you
  • identify what issues affect your place or may affect it in the future
  • use this understanding to shape decisions about how your place is cared for in future

This process can enable your community to develop projects and bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Climate Challenge Fund and others. It will also allow you to gather the evidence required for decision-making processes.

Find out below what’s covered in the individual toolkit sections, or download the toolkit in full now.

Read about the Talking About Our Place toolkit

Stage 1: Getting started

Starting off with a good idea of what you want to achieve is important. You should agree clear aims for your community project – and plan how best to achieve these.

Good teamwork and involving a wide range of interested people from your community will give your project the best chance of success.

In this section, read about:

  • what you can achieve using the toolkit
  • how to form a project team
  • making decisions about the purpose and timescales of your project
  • deciding which activities are best suited to involving people in your community

Stage 2: What is special about your place?

Discover the tools and techniques you can use to work out what’s special about your place.

In this section, learn how to:

  • identify the extent of the area of interest
  • involve people in identifying what makes your place special and what people value
  • explore local heritage through people’s knowledge and memories of the area
  • explore how language and culture can offer clues to what’s important in your place

Stage 3: What are landscape benefits?

Your place provides many benefits for the people living there. Some are obvious, like a vibrant town centre. Others, like helping to regulate flooding, may be less apparent.

This section looks at how we can benefit from our place and also at some of the ways these benefits could be threatened. This will also help you plan for how you want your place to evolve in the future.

For more about landscape benefits, open Landscapes and their benefits and select any feature to download the related fact sheet.

Stage 4: Shaping the future

Find out how to use the information – and inspiration – you’ve gathered to shape the future of your place. Now is the time to act on your ideas about how you want your area to develop.

Among other things, you might want to:

  • identify places where you can improve your place
  • celebrate and publicise the unique identity of your place
  • influence decisions being made in your area

Contact

Get in touch if you have questions. Or drop us a line to tell us how you’re using the toolkit to shape your place.

Email: landscape@nature.scot