Planning for an ecosystems approach in Stirlingshire.

The Scottish government’s 2011 Land Use Strategy included a commitment to ‘demonstrate how the ecosystem approach could be taken into account in relevant decisions made by public bodies to deliver wider benefits’.  Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) joined forces to deliver this commitment, focusing on the Carse of Stirling.

LUC, with STAR Development Group, was commissioned to manage the project in two stages. Firstly, we devised a methodology placing local stakeholders at the heart of the project. We simplified terminology and developed a process which built capacity, empowered and supported informed decision-making.

Secondly, we recruited a stakeholder panel, designing and running workshops and carrying out parallel technical assessments on issues such as flood regulation, food production and carbon storage. We produced an action plan and a technical report to SNH and SEPA, recording lessons for future projects. The panel has since become constituted as the Carse of Stirling Partnership.

The project won an RTPI Award for Planning Excellence and was shortlisted for a Nature of Scotland Award.

Our client commented: ‘The Carse of Stirling project is recognised as groundbreaking and this is largely due to the vision and delivery the team brought to the project’.

For advice on the ecosystems approach, please contact Nick James, Jeremy Owen or Sarah Young.