CVS Clackmannanshire

The Environment and Heritage Voluntary and Community Sector: research needs, issues, concerns and opportunities


What were they trying to achieve?
The aim was to build the capacity of the community and voluntary sector in Clackmannanshire to be an effective partner in the community planning process and to contribute to the maintenance and development of the environment and heritage.

How did they go about it?
Six local people were trained as researchers. There were three stages to the research.  Desk research was undertaken to analyse the plans and strategies of key environment organisations, the Clackmannanshire Community Plan and documents of local environment and heritage groups, and to determine the number of organisations and levels of volunteering in the area.  Information was gathered from the Green Map produced for one community - Sauchie.  The Green Map System invites design teams of all ages and backgrounds to highlight the connections between natural and human environments by mapping their local community.  In addition, a questionnaire was sent to community councils; and interviews were held with a number of community groups.  Meetings were held with the Sustainable Dialogues Forum for Clackmannanshire, and with key environment organisations to discuss the research and present the findings.

What did they learn?
The main positive aspects of the environment in Clackmannanshire identified by respondents were the Ochil Hills, Gartmorn Dam, the variety of walks and public open spaces.  Negatives were dog mess, poor pavements, anti-social behaviour, litter and vandalism, electricity powerlines, traffic on particular routes and lack of safe places to play.

As a result of the findings, CVS Clackmannanshire was more knowledgeable about the issues in relation to the environment and heritage.  Local and national agencies and organisations were more aware of the views and interests of local communities.  More people became aware of environment and heritage issues.

What difference did it make?
As a result of the research, CVS Clackmannanshire submitted an application for funding to extend the green mapping to other disadvantaged areas.  As a result of meetings, the CVS and Community Planning partners adopted a collaboration agreement to establish an environmental forum, which will work to the National Standards for Community Engagement.  There was agreement to create an environmental/greenspace partnership to link into the Community Plan.  Further training was planned on community research methods.

Contact
CVS Clackmannanshire
12/14 Primrose Street
Alloa
FK10 1JG
Tel:  01259 217852