Sustainable Communities

“The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbour. .”

                                                                                                               Hubert Humphrey

What we do

We have many years experience in working within rural regeneration and have supported both individuals and groups to aspire and succeed through our training and support programmes.

We try to help people find a voice and we operate on a ’host and float‘ basis where we support a new group or individual until they have a capacity and confidence to use their new skills to manage a project or enterprise on their own.

Our staff are creative and innovative in their approaches and can often find solutions and linkages that creates new opportunities within a community.

  • Community needs assessments
  • Consultation and engagement
  • Capacity and aspiration building
  • Project management
  • Research and feasibility
  • Partnership building and liaison
  • Neighbourhood planning
  • Social enterprise development
  • Business planning

Our approach

We work closely with authorities, agencies, and communities to help identify practical and well thought out sustainable solutions to local issues based upon local circumstances and aspirations.

We have extensive experience in working with communities and have developed and supported many volunteer groups, charities and social enterprises.

Our approach is to really listen and understand the aspirations of a community or authority and work closely with them to develop ideas that will solve problems both today and in the future.

Case Study

Oakham Heights, Rutland

This major development for Rutland is being built to garden village standards by Larkfleet, Charles Church, and Bellway. The whole development includes 1,000 new homes, allotments, a nature park, green infrastructure, sustainable urban drainage systems, allotments, ponds, a brook, woodlands, grasslands, and several areas of recreational open space for play. The Sustainable Land Trust worked in partnership with Preim (the managing agent) and members of the community to identify opportunities for social cohesion, promotion of biodiversity, volunteering and training to support future the creation of a resident’s management committee.

The Trust worked closely with the community to prepare residents to take on the management and responsibility for the parks and open spaces once all of the built estate was completed.  Additionally, the Trust helped to create volunteer groups to learn about their spaces, and created a range of community events and activities that helped create a sense of place (including its first parish Fete). The Trust provided accredited City & Guilds training in ecosystems management for young people to be employed once   spaces were handed over to the new Residents Management Committee.

Key ecosystem services being identified and valued for the community

Working with volunteers, the Trust are carrying out training days to identify and quantify the range of ecosystem services provided within the Oakham Heights development. The results will show the value of these services and will help to inform future management decisions once the community have responsibility for the upkeep of their open spaces and natural areas. Opportunities for Payment for Ecosystem Services will be explored as a way to enhance biodiversity and ensure that the environment is prioritised. The following ecosystem services will be taken into account:

  • Carbon sequestration potential in soils and trees
  • Pollination opportunities provided by habitat type and management
  • Soil quality (biodiversity, pollution)
  • Water quality (biodiversity, pollution, role in flood alleviation, sedimentation)
  • Habitat quality (biodiversity)
  • Health and wellbeing (mental and physical, recreational)
  • Cultivated and wild food plants and resources for craft materials
  • Aesthetics and visual beauty