Engaging stakeholders in sustainable estate management

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1Engaging stakeholders in Sustainable Estate ManagementExploring the potential of engagement and partnerships between estates, communities and other stakeholders

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2Outline

1. Why me?2. What are the key sustainability pressures for communities and estates?3. Why might more engagement and joint working help?4. Does it always work?5. How can we move forwards?

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3Private landownershipCommunity landownershipNGO landownershipLandowner motivationsSustainable estate communitiesSustainability assessment criteriaPartnerships and collaborationCase studiesLand reform

Partnerships and collaboration1. Why me?Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century

Project at CMS since 2007 3 PhD projects and one other project. Following aims:To explore the concept of sustainability as applied to large, upland estates in ScotlandTo consider a cross-section of types of estate owners, including private, community and NGO owners.To use a case study approach in order to gain an in-depth understanding of a range of peoples experiences of estate ownership and management.

Range of topics:

Landowner motivation and understanding of sustainabilityPrivate landowners contributions to sustainable rural communitiesA SWOT analysis of community owned estatesHow can we monitor how estates deliver sustainability goals in practice?

DESCRIBE CASE STUDY APPROACH3

The evidence base4

Large postal survey of private landowners (2008)Over 200 hours of recorded interviews and discussionsHousehold surveys of communities on case study estatesResearch observations while studying, living and working on case study estatesReview and analysis of literature and case study estate documentation

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52. Sustainability pressures for communities

Access to assets and servicesEmployment and business challengesCommunity spirit and social capital

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Sustainability pressures for estates

Financial viability/sustainabilityAsset limitationsSocial/physical distance between the estate and the other stakeholders

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7CommunityEstateLack of career development opportunitiesLack of diversification opportunitiesEconomic security/viabilityEmployment and business challengesImpact of market variance and loss of large employersLand or premises availabilityAn illustration

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8Making the links

A SOLUTION = Engagement and joint working?

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3. Why might more engagement help?We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others.

- Scotlands National Performance Framework

People should have opportunities to contribute to debates and decisions about land use and management decisions which affect their lives.

- Scotlands Land Use Strategy

Land Use Strategy (multiple benefits/ecosystem approach)Land Reform (Scotland) Act Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill (Scotland)

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10Mutual benefits of engagementNew business and asset opportunitiesAccess to wider knowledge, skills and resourcesReleasing volunteer energy(Re)connecting people to the landRobust and accepted decisionsReducing a perceived disconnect between estates, communities and wider stakeholders

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Developing new business and asset opportunitieshe [estate owner] has actually stuck his neck outhe has allowed people to come in and do thingshes given people opportunitiesCommunity member

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Accessing wider knowledge, skills and resourcesThe process of doing things gives you the confidence and ability, and the aspiration, to do more.Community member

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Releasing volunteer energyWhen we have our open daysthe community really get involveda lot of it is letting people know what we do and what we can doEstate representative

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(Re)connecting people to the landIf you go back 100 years, everybody was farming these bits of ground, because their livelihood depended on it. Now their livelihood doesnt depend on it, thankfully you might sayEstate representative

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Making robust and accepted decisionsthe community needs to feel that it is truly a consultation.Estate representative

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Reducing a perceived disconnectThere is a lot of crossover between the Development Group and the Estate [estate manager] can answer you then and thereIt is communications and involvement directly.Community member

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4. Does it always work?

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18Challenges of engagement and joint workingCHALLENGE: Resource limitations

it is very difficult indeed to get people to meetings. They would goif you proposed to put in a Heathrowthrough the fields something really big.Estate representative

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19CHALLENGE: Communication difficulties

Never been made to feel part of any estate. There's no cohesionWe only know we're on an estate because of occasional interference.Estate community member

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20CHALLENGE: Contrasting perspectives

theyve every right to put in their two-pennies wortha lot of them have bought expensive propertiesbut they come out with some affa claimsEstate community member

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21CHALLENGE: Developing accountable decision-making processes

To hear what locals have to say, and not be "directed by" faceless wonders from government [would promote estate sustainability]...Sustainability professional

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5. How can we move forwards?

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PROACTIVEACTIVEUNDERACTIVETaking a leadership role at or beyond the estate scale (showing initiative)Willingness to collaborate with other organisations, partners etc. (open-door policy)Unwilling to collaborate (closed-door policy).

MORE SUSTAINABLELESS SUSTAINABLEA proactive approach from all partners

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Visible and approachable estate representatives

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25Suitable methods and timings

e.g. community shareholders in estate business

e.g. tenancies and contracts

e.g. liaison group or forum

e.g. consultation on estate management planning

e.g. community surgeries, involvement with local groups

Increased levels of engagement, opportunity and trust

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Benefits of a facilitator?

to help develop the capacity within the community to develop their own ideasto get involved at various levels, in how things are taken forwardGovernment representative

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27When benefits were recognised and productive engagement and partnerships were developed, our research found evidence of stronger local governance and a spectrum of examples of mutual gains.

For estate owners and representatives: Need for genuine engagement with estate communities and wider partnersLeads to a long-term positive development of the public image of estatesIncreases wider confidence in the estates sectorFor estate communities: Communities need to identify their needs and priorities and engage with estate representatives (Upland Solutions communities that seek to improve themselves)Overcome prejudices, embrace involvement all partnersFor policy-makers, public agencies and other stakeholders: Support engagement and joint working Positive partnerships can contribute to community resilience Equal support should be given across the sectorStakeholders need to define their role with the partners involved and commit to joint projects

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28Taking forward our findingsFocus on evidence of engagement and partnershipsPractical booklet based on practical examples

Working Together for Sustainable Estate Communities

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Project supervisors: Professor Martin Price (Centre for Mountain Studies)Dr Charles Warren (University of St Andrews)Professor Alister Scott (Birmingham City University)Acknowledgements

29Funder: The Henry Angest FoundationProject team: Dr Jayne Glass, Dr Rob Mc Morran, Annie McKee and Pippa Wagstaff

The Sustainable Estates Advisory Group:

Knowledge Exchange support from:

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