Alistair and Monica-1-0378

International experts to give Carrbridge a voice

They will put the community of Carrbridge firmly in the driver’s seat to make decisions about capercaillie around the village and enable every resident to have a say.

International experience

Dr Alistair Bath and Monica Engel have successfully helped rural communities in Europe, South America, India and North America to have their voices heard and influence decision-making regarding their communities.

Whether working with communities in Italy regarding brown bears and park authorities, Romania on forestry, India and tigers, Brazil and jaguars, Alaska and bison, or in their home in Canada on a variety of issues with small coastal communities, they believe that where decisions are to be made about resources affecting community residents, those residents need to be heard.

Together they have an international reputation for listening effectively and working towards coexistence between residents and wildlife and solving issues between residents and authorities.

Wherever they’ve worked they have found people willing to work towards solutions and gained 100% consensus with all interest groups. Their approach has never before been used in the UK so they’re really looking forward to listening and learning from Carrbridge residents, starting in the week August 5th and more permanently come September.

Community-led recruitment

Recruited through a public tender advertised on Public Contracts Scotland, Alistair and Monica’s submission was shortlisted by the Carrbridge Community Working Group. The group formed the majority of the interview panel and were unanimous in their decision to appoint Alistair and Monica and seek approval to do so from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Listening to residents

Keen to get started, Alistair and Monica want to identify the key issues for residents and the common ground on which people can come together to create a community-led action plan for capercaillie.

Through this process Carrbridge will be taking a pioneering step in the Park to ensure the pride the village feels towards its iconic natural heritage is never lost, and Carrbridge’s capercaillie thrive for decades to come.

Alistair and Monica will be staying in the village to ensure they’re available to residents 24/7, you may even see Alistair with his long grey hair jogging the woodland trails as a half marathon runner. He and Monica will be encouraging every resident to share their opinions as they visit each household and ask everyone to complete a questionnaire that they’ll drop off and pick up. As every single resident should have a say, Carrbridge could achieve the highest response rate from a questionnaire ever delivered to a community.

In addition residents will be invited to meet directly with Alistair and Monica, who, in their own words are here with four ears and two mouths so are willing to listen at least twice as much as talk.

Next steps

If you have any questions or wish to share your views with Alistair and Monica, please stay tuned for when and how best to do this by keeping an eye for further news posts and the August edition of Carrbridge Capercaillie News.

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