Recharge in Nature - Electrek Explorer

09 December 2021

Partnership news release 

Visitors to the south of Scotland can now enjoy its nature and wildlife using low carbon travel.

A new WebApp will provide information about charging points for electric cars and bikes alongside beauty spots, walks and trails, and areas of natural interest.

It’s a new piece of technology from Electrek Explorer delivering a pilot Recharge in Nature initiative in the South of Scotland through a partnership with NatureScot and the Southern Uplands Partnership with funding from South of Scotland Destination Alliance, Destination Net Zero and South of Scotland Enterprise.

Elaine Ford, Director at startup Electrek Explorer said it was a fantastic opportunity for wildlife fans.

“This app shows new ways to engage with nature and explore a beautiful part of the country,” she said.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to help promote nature-based tourism, whilst accelerating the transition to low carbon, electric travel in the drive towards Net Zero.”

The WebApp will help guide people along curated electric car and bike routes. As a part of the wider programme, the team is creating a new E-bike data atlas in the South of Scotland to improve access and usability along cycle routes, which will highlight businesses and locations that are electric vehicle (EV) and E-bike friendly.

The pilot hopes to encourage active travel and make nature sites more accessible to all, as a part of the Just Transition. It will also connect people with EV-friendly accommodation, local businesses, wildlife hotspots, walks, adventure activities, voluntourism and community groups.

NatureScot Strategic Planning Manager, Simon Brooks said, “We’re delighted to be part of this pioneering initiative to promote the natural world of South of Scotland in such a new and engaging way. We’re looking forward to seeing people getting out and about, and enjoying all that nature has to offer - whilst addressing the climate emergency through low-carbon travel and nature-based responsible tourism.”

The pilot hopes to minimise ‘range anxiety’ by providing integrated EV information alongside nature-based tourism information and route planning. Ultimately, this will support people in the use of low carbon travel options. 

Pip Tabor, Partnership Manager at the Southern Uplands Partnership said the organisation had been promoting nature-based tourism and sustainable development for many years.

“This project neatly brings the two together in an innovative way. We are delighted to be involved in helping to realise the idea," he said.

The WebApp is being piloted across the South of Scotland recognising this is a region with outstanding natural heritage assets and a clear ambition for EV and e-bike development for touring and exploration. Its proximity to the Central Belt of Scotland and the north of England provides access to 14 million people within 2 hours travel time and considerable scope to influence sustainable travel choices. Subject to the outcome of the pilot the plan is to then develop the Recharge in Nature WebApp across Scotland.

A call to action - Electrek Explorer is focused on active engagement with local communities and businesses, as a part of inclusive economic development. The team encourages anyone in the South of Scotland or interested in the project to email explorer@planetrewild.com.

  • If you want to be included as an EV-friendly business and displayed on the web app.
  • You are interested in User Testing and informing the web app’s development
  • Have a nature-based Citizen Science or Voluntourism project in the South of Scotland that you would like to promote on the new web atlas. 
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Contact

MEDIA@nature.scot