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Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action

A blog post by Rosanna Harvey-Crawford

Since the launch of Scotland’s Climate Festival in November we’ve loved seeing the range of ideas coming in from communities across Scotland. One of the resources we have been offering is seed funding with grants of up to £500 (available to established and newly formed groups). Rosanna and Rachel take us through some of the exciting projects that have received grants. We have received a steady stream of applications from groups keen to start climate conversations in their community, from Annan to Inverness and the Isle of Coll!

STORM at Falkirk Delivers community eco festival during COP26 as part of Scotland's Climate Festival. STORM is a ten-metre tall puppet, a folklore goddess of the sea, made entirely out of recycled and natural materials. #falkirkdelivers @falkirkdelivers @visitfalkirk #climatefestivalscot photo credit: Sam Fleming

Our first group awarded funding was Falkirk Delivers, who hosted a brilliant two-day event, Shop26, in Falkirk town centre during COP26. STORM, a puppet of the giant ocean goddess of folklore, created using recycled marine litter and natural materials, made an appearance and interacted with the crowd. Check out the video of her procession through the town, setting the tone for an inspiring array of events.

With spring on the way, a number of groups are holding growing events, swapping and handing out seeds to residents to support pollinator populations, and introducing residents to composting and seed saving. Three Towns Growers in Ardrossan held a ‘Potato Day’, for people to come and learn about growing potatoes and take growing bags, compost and seed potatoes home. Meanwhile, in Annan, Annan Academy are planning an information day and celebration of their school bees, including handing out seeds to the local community. Other groups are using food and growing activities to start conversations about the climate and nature emergencies, and what can be done about these issues locally.

In Edinburgh a market will be held showcasing local craft making and produce, and encouraging upcycling activities. These events aim to inspire residents to think about local climate action and spread the grassroots climate action message. This kind of event is a great opportunity to work with our National Partners, ranging from Creative Carbon Scotland to Sustrans, Zero Waste Scotland and many more. They can provide information and ideas for active travel, saving energy at home and protecting biodiversity in your local area, or even put you in touch with artists and performers to hold a cultural event on climate change. A great example is Sustaining North Berwick’s event ‘Living Better’, where environmental organisations like WWF, Home Energy Scotland and local rewilding groups, amongst others, will have stalls for people to engage one to one with representatives on climate change issues.

As well as more established organisations, we are very happy to have received applications from people interested in starting up a climate change group in their community. On the Isle of Coll, some residents are arranging a screening of the new documentary ‘Scotland: Our Climate Journey’ and a discussion session. If you’re interested in holding a similar screening, please get in touch with us at climatefestivalscot@keepscotlandbeautiful.org.

If you would like to be part of the Climate Festival, head over to our pages to find out more about applying and what resources are available. We have an interactive map of events to explore as well as information about the seed fund, our partners and a comprehensive ‘How To Guide’ on holding events. We are also holding national events including the Climate Festival Forum: Greening Your Event.

Seed funding applications close on 1 March, but we have made the process as simple and easy as possible, so get your applications in! After this date we will still be on hand offering resources to help your event create excitement about climate action in your community. We welcome applications for events both small and large-scale and would love to hear your ideas for starting climate conversations where you live.

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