On International Biodiversity Day, North Uist Development Company (NUDC) has launched the base plans and community survey for the new Environment Centre which is being developed in Lochmaddy, North Uist.
The plans have been developed with the designers Da Capo Limited thanks to funding from the Islands Green Recovery Programme. The next phase is to develop the content with the community's help, and are asking the local community - What should be included in your Environment Centre?
To input your ideas, follow the link to the survey @ www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/NUDC-DesignSurvey
Or, you can download the printed copy here and return to firstname.lastname@example.org
Da Capo Limited are working with NUDC to install the exhibition as soon as possible, so are asking for responses before 11:59pm on Monday 31st of May 2021. Please note the survey is now closed.
Don't miss out on the chance to shape this new exciting natural environment exhibition.
The concept of the Environment Centre originated from a Steering Group which explored the creation a Hebridean Archaeological and Environmental Research Centre (HAERC). A Feasibility Study was carried out by EKOS and completed in 2015 emphasising significant interest in the environment of the Uists by both locals and visitors. The North Uist community identified the Environment Centre as one of three priority projects which is highlighted in NUDC Local Development Plan 2018-2023. Again, during consultation for the 2018 feasibility study for the former Lochmaddy School re-development, the community ranked ‘Environmental Centre - Focus on Geology and Natural Environment’ first amongst options; with all subsequent consultation results since showing strong support. A separate survey with North Uist Primary School as part of the Uist Wind project also highlighted the younger generations concerns over damage to the natural environment with a need to protect it.
The former School is now in the hands of the community, thanks to the Scottish Land Fund, and funding has been acquired by the Islands Green Recovery Programme to design and install the exhibition space in the former sports hall/assembly room of the building. Your Environment Centre The new Environment Centre will be a new innovative facility showcasing the unique natural environment of the Uists and Barra, providing tourism information, a new visitor attraction and, acting as an educational engagement point demonstrating the importance of conservation practices for future generations. This will also act as a base for #voluntourism and #ecotourism as well as, incorporating a bouldering rock wall to encourage active outdoor lifestyles and environmental interaction in the comfort of an indoor setting.
The Environmental Centre is intended to:
• Celebrate Uist & Barra's magnificent natural environment.
• Fill the existing short-fall in readily available information including inter-relationships between various components of the natural environment.
• Provide an educational resource for schools.
• Provide a forum for community and visitors alike to engage meaningfully with the outdoors whilst minimising adverse environmental impact.
• Provide a forum for meaningful discussion of environmental conservation issues and identifying sustainable ways forward.
• Provide information on sustainable technologies and practices to help mitigate the climate emergency and promote a green recovery.
The motto for the wider development - the ‘Àrainneachd Àlainn’ Community Hub and Environment Centre - is ‘Our Island, Our Environment, Our future’, as the future is in our hands. The Environment Centre aims to empower our community and visitors to grasp the opportunities available to change our future.
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