community energy immersion. 2 days of seeing where the NT needs to go

Twas a very wet couple of days. But the hydro potential was obvious! (Anafon river in spate)

Following on from Paul’s follow on of Malcolm’s blog (not sure if that’s right?) Just spent two fascinating days showing various NT people around what we and others are doing around community partnering. It just happened to be energy but the NT do so much more but as one off’s. the purpose was to raise awareness of whats going on but also conducting a conversation around what is the National Trusts role in all this local ism, going local partnering. We have the ambition do do so much more as captured in the ‘going local‘ strategy. It’s now a mater of what does that look like in terms of nuts and blot?. We met and had long chats with a few  inspirational community people from Abergwyngregyn and Ecodyfi yn Machnlleth . I kept asking the question “what do you see is the role of the National Trust in this area of sustainable development” The answer was fairly consistent which was they saw us an enabler but also the thing which was needed the most was a risk taker with the community (informed risk). For a community moving out into the dark and murky commercial world that first step can be daunting. There are many networks, short-term and transient funding mechanisms for community development but the glue for bringing them together or a bridge for the gaps is not always clear eg plenty of funding once you have planning permission but the feasibility to the tender stage is fought with risk. We discussed a revolving feasibility fund or just a simple sign post role. Knowing where to start and then who to go to is also also not clear

Gavin from Aber’ and James and the NT team discussing the role of the NT in community energy

The role of the NT I feel is as an enabler and in this role it can become much more relevant to the local communities but it also has to stick to what its good at which is conservation and enabling people to appreciate special places. Think we have a bit to go in terms of developing on our role but the intention is there we simply need to see smarten on our approach. More on this later

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