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FierySpirits NewsBurst
  Fiery Spirits News June 2012
Book launch: history of community buy-outs in the Highlands
FierySpirits can now promote your blogs, updates, tweets and more
New Carnegie Associates sought - do you know someone?

Dear Name>>

This bulletin brings you up to speed with latest developments at FierySpirits.
New history of community land ownership in Scotland

At Community Land Scotland's annual conference on Mull Jim Hunter launched his new book on the history and impact of community land ownership in Scotland. With photos by Cailean MacLeanFrom the Low Tide of the Sea to the Highest Mountain Top is a beautifullly produced story of how more than half a million acres of land in Scotland have been taken into community ownership in Scotland over the past 20 years.

Vital reading for anyone who enjoyed our 'Exploring Community Resilience' publication last year, the book costs £15 and is published by the Island Book Trust. It was commissioned by Carnegie UK Trust and has also had two very successful launches in the Scottish Parliament and at Westminster. 

You can win a copy by doing a 30 second survey (see next item in this newsletter), or order direct from the Book Trust. As this is a small community-based publisher any help passing word on to other networks would be very much appreciated... a promotional leaflet is here.
For a taste of what's inside, see Jim's piece in the Sunday Herald and also press coverage in the Herald and Scotsman
Do a 30 second survey - and FierySpirits will promote your tweets, blogs, videos and more.

Fiery Spirits is today launching a new communications service for members: we want to maximise the number of people who see your posts online, wherever they are.

It's easy:
1) Do a 30 second online survey about where you like to post online; and then
2) Start benefitting from more views, connections and responses to your questions.

The service works by using special software that creates an attractive daily/weekly newsletter, with direct links back to the contributors.

The resulting resource could become a powerful indicator of the views of our growing community. It will help us to:
  • spot new ideas, trends, and connections to be made;
  • stay up to date with hot topics and opportunities that members are passing on; and
  • help members come together to influence or shape policy.
Please help us get this experiment off the ground - CLICK THIS SURVEY LINK NOW to tell us where you post... it will only take 30 seconds!

As an extra incentive, responses will be entered into a chance to win a copy of Jim Hunter's new book (see above) - we have 10 copies to give away.
For more information, click here.

CoP Development 2012: help us find three new Carnegie Associates

Thanks to feedback from the annual member survey in March, the CoP Steering Group is now seeking three new Carnegie Associates. Please help us to find the right people to apply for these positions:
Please note that the deadline for receiving proposals is 1st July. Please contact Nick Wilding with any questions.

Working with the Plunkett Foundation

The Plunkett Foundation have a long history in supporting community enterprise in rural areas. Their work on community shopsco-operative pubs,community food enterprises and more has shown the power of supporting local people to take action on priority local issues.

As part of a wider strategy agreed by the CoP Steering Group to connect and work more closely with other rural networks, the Steering Group has begun working with the Plunkett Foundation to identify opportunities for collaboration. This has included commissioning Plunkett to offer a view on how the Fiery Spirits network might improve its service in ways that may be of interest to members of Plunkett's existing networks. As a result, expect to see some changes to over coming months.

If you run a rural network and would like to talk with us about similar opportunities to collaborate, please get in touch with Nick Wilding at Carnegie UK Trust.

Mapping Rural Networks: Carnegie UK Trust report

Carnegie UK Trust has published the results of reseaerch into the role that rural development networks play in building community capacity.  The report found that within the current climate of austerity and public spending cuts across the UK and Ireland, rural development networks and the communities they represent are presented with a challenging future.

This report is the result of a scoping exercise carried out by the Carnegie UK Trust in June 2011 that sought to map rural community development networks throughout the UK and Ireland. In carrying out this piece of research, the Trust wished to find out about existing networks across the UK and Ireland. The research sought to identify why rural networks exist, their benefits to users and the key issues facing them, particularly in the current climate of public spending cuts. This paper reports the research findings and sets out a series of recommendations designed to address the future sustainability of rural development networks.

The Executive Summary is available here.
The project webpage can be viewed here.

Mapping Community Assets topic: update

Gill Musk, IACD and Carnegie Associate writes:
Some really interesting discussion threads are emerging under this topic. One is around who initiates mapping exercises, what makes them genuinely community-led, and how local authorities and others might be supported in supporting communities to do this kind of work (see comments posted on the topic page, Members have over recent weeks posted helpful examples and resources which are illuminating what is meant by 'asset mapping' and how it can be done. Carnegie Associate Gill Musk is pulling these together to form a bank of resources, with some explanatory text to help with filtering. We know that there are many more great examples out there so please keep sharing via

Another important strand of the conversation is on the power of the narrative and what it would take to combine different perspectives, stories and data in a way which really represents a community's 'story', its assets and challenges - Gill would love to hear from anyone how has led or participated in community asset mapping and has a story to tell. The aim is to gather a range of perspectives in each case. There is never only one story...

Irish President Michael D. launches initiative by CoP member

On 6th June, President Michael D. launched Cultivate Centre's 'convergence' roadshow across rural and urban Ireland, convened by Davie Philip and colleagues at which seeks to build common cause towards more sustainable and resilient communities.

Michael D. spoke with passion to celebrate in the Cloughjordan ecovillage project the "good ideas for the future that we want - taking off from here, where the values that we need are given such practical expression....". He also made some powerful remarks about an 'intellectual and moral crisis' that led to the economic crisis, and proposed that Cloughjordan and similar initatives over the world offer a source of hope for a more better future.

Exploring Community Resilience - report from 'emergencies and community resilience' seminar 
On 19th March, CoP member Wendy Graham, Director of Disaster Welfare Services in the New South Wales (Australia), visited Dunfermline and led a seminar examining the growing connections between professional emergency planning, and asset based community development.

A report and short video from the event is now available in the topic group, together with some additional resources that we unearthed at the event. 

Wendy went on to visit the Cabinet Office, Washington DC, Canada and New Zealand and reported back that our seminar 'set the tone' for the whole trip - helping to frame questions about ensuring that the emergency planning profession doesn't re-invent the wheel when it comes to community development, but also noting that there remains much work to be done to better connect different takes on what 'resilience planning' involves from practitioners of all backgrounds.

Young People creating ideas for fantastic future events
 In early April a group of twenty young people from five rural communities came together, hosted by North Harris Trust, to share experineces and ideas about how young people are getting involved with creating more vibrant, interesting rural communities.... and to invent some follow-up events which might appeal to lots more young people too. It was striking that each group had a passion - from extreme sports to song-writing to cake-making or to dancing - and from this central point came inspiration about what kinds of networking (using Facebook as well as in 'festival' type events) might help younger people to get involved in shaping the future for their communities.

The trip itself combined healthy amounts of fun with thinking sessions and this mix - supported by Carnegie Associate Alan Caldwell - seemed just right. The group's taken a breather after their week on intensity but intend to use their Facebook group to start thinking about a new event for the autumn with Callum Galpin - a young extreme sports enthusiast from Comrie, Perthshire, taking the lead...

Event Report: Community Land Scotland annual gathering, March 2012

Two bloggers have given excellent accounts of the Community Land Scotland annual gathering - check out and Norman MacAskill on the Scotland Rural Network. Norman helpfully noted points that John Watt made in his keynote presentation regarding his proposals for Community Land Scotland's priorities:

  • Offer to redraft the Land Reform Act, including the possibility of community compulsory purchase orders
  • Press the government to ease the transfer of ownership of public land
  • Clarify the state aids position
  • Identify and broker philanthropic venture capital
  • Monitor Scottish Government policy and offer to deliver against targets such as low carbon economy, preventative spending and digital economy
  • Engage with young people
  • Influence the new SRDP to get it more community-oriented
  • Work with other national bodies in initiatives like the new Rural Parliament
  • Share experiences and identify and celebrate achievements
  • Believe in what you are doing - because it is making a difference
Upcoming event: Village SoS, Dunfermline
For those within reach of Dunfermline, a Village SoS 'Live' event will happen on June 28th in Dunfermline. Broadcaster and commentator Lesley Riddoch will be talking about her role in the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust - and there will be information about funding opportunities that the Big Lottery Fund are offering at present. There will be a number of workshops on offer including one from Nick Wilding sharing some of the community resilience work of For more details,download the PDF.

CoP Steering Group: papers and minutes available
Reminder: catch up with Steering Group papers and minutes online.
Welcoming new members ... who needs an invitation?
This newsletter puts you in touch with the latest action on the FierySpirits site - it's a good way to find out what you've missed, and what's coming up in the next month. Share it with others you think might like to join FierySpirits - or invite them direct.  Once they join, drop them a welcome note on their profile page - ideally, direct them to the site guide to get a feel for how our Community of Practice works.

Invitation  - stay in touch with Carnegie UK Trust
Carnegie UK Trust maintains a contact database for those interested in following its work. If you'd like to receive updates and news, please click this link and fill out the 'e-newsletter' form.

Newsletter produced by 
Nick Wilding, Carnegie UK Trust

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