Joint working – not on your life

Not in the North of Scotland.  The below was sent to a number of public bodies and Dounreay.


Have a look at my web site at I have just sent David Swanson an email asking him if he would support the idea of a sustainable tourism destination for Caithness and Sutherland.  As usual, I am afraid, I have to do all of the coordination if this route is to happen.  I know there are people out there who think I will not succeed.  I will as will the many supporters of this project.  The below is what I have just sent to David in response to an email I sent to him only yesterday.  Some people (and they will know who they are) have not responded to my request for a sustainable tourism area.  I know that Ian Mitchell and David MacKay are doing their best, but I had hoped that Colin would have replied.  After all, he was so helpful when we were putting in the abortive bid for the toilets at Dunnet Head.  We couldn’t get them, as the total project cost had to be over £71,000.  Please… for toilets.  This is not THCs fault, but that of the Scottish Government, and I am about to find out who made this ridiculous assertion.  Everyone on this list knows what a good researcher I am.


Thank you for this.  Much appreciated.
Rest assured that the project will proceed.. but only if people work together which seems to be an impossibility.  Have a look at my web site – Competa in Spain has already embraced Green Tourism as a destination, thanks to me.  This was joint working with myself,  the town hall, the local people and the transport companies to improve links to the coast.  Portadown will be next, as they also know how to work together. Caithness and Sutherland will, bizarrely, be last, even though I have been working on this project for 10 years.
Competa will be nominated as one of the top 100 sustainable tourism destinations.  However, as HIE don’t want my expertise, unless it’s free, and THC are so difficult, Portadown will be the second place to achieve recognition.
It is thanks to me that Easyways was introduced to the Way, but there was no recognition of my work in his report.  Never mind, we will get there, and I would hope, that, as a result of this you could contact Colin as requested in your usual efficient manner.”
Hopefully we can get some much needed clarity and joint working, notwithstanding that HIE only interested in the rocket idea, and not sustainable tourism.
People know who they are from whom I await their replies.
Kind regards,”
You can see what Dounreay had to say about it on the front page…… do all the work first!

Civic Conversation

This is how they do things in Ireland… dialogue, not empirical and non democratic.  We thank you, Stormont, for the extract from your report.

“It was good to see so many of you participating in the civic conversation in the Long Gallery at Stormont on Thursday past.  Our conversation about ‘what to make of culture’ ranged widely, stretching out in a variety directions – as indicated by the ten themes that emerged from the morning sessions:

  1. Value and values

  2. Role of the arts in culture

  3. A healthy culture

  4. Confidence in freedom and choice

  5. Integrating the past

  6. Places and spaces for nurturing relationship

  7. Cultural democracy

  8. Getting into action

  9. Building utopia

  10. Self expansion”

None of these things are possible in Scotland.  Public services make sure of that.

Do they actually understand economics in Scotland?

A couple of weeks ago the Friends of the North Highland Way became aware of a grant given by VisitScotland and administered by the Highland Council. A couple of people put money in so that an Expression of Interest could be worked up.  It was duly submitted – in fact VisitScotland gave a weeks extension so we could.

On receiving the response from VisitScotland (as the Highland Council had not submitted it) we were aghast to receive the following

Thank you for sending your submission  to the RTIF but I’m afraid that we can only accept applications from the Local Authorities  or National Park organisations .  However even if Highland Council were  able to submit  the application there are a number of things within your proposal which would make it ineligible for the RTIF  including;

1             The RTIF funds grants between £50,000  and £300,000   which means that the minimum project cost would need to be £71,429

2             As you describe the Friends of the North Highland Way as a business group rather than a community group then this group would not be an eligible             delivery body  and the fund  does not support individual or business  groups.

This means that they want everything free – again.

Sadly no toilets for Dunnet Head then. If this is the case, then we don’t suppose the other community groups can make it £71,429 either. Impossible.  We wonder where the money will go when it is not spent?

Does the NC500 adhere to the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism?

Analysis of whether the NC500 adheres to the principles of the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism


It is of great concern that the project known as the NC500 does not adhere to the principles of the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism, nor the EU Directive on Climate Change.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise have heavily backed this project, providing thousands of pounds of public money.

While the NC500 has raised the profile of the north of Scotland, which was much needed, this has been a “quick fix” with no thought for the local community or the impact on the environment.  It is admirable that the parties concerned wish to educate people about the precious environment of the Peatlands, but it must be controlled, and should not cause THC further expenditure on road maintenance.


This text is taken directly from the EU documentation.  The comments in italics are observations which should be investigated further.


Major challenges for sustainable tourism include:

  • preserving natural and cultural resources; – NC500 does not do this. It encourages people to use bigger vehicles. Camper vans, large cars.  Does the NC500 therefore adhere to the principles of the EU Directive on Climate Change.
  • limiting negative impacts at tourist destinations, including the use of natural resources and waste production; More usage of water at campsites, disposal of waste.
  • promoting the wellbeing of the local community; Does not do that either. Horse riders are much inconvenienced by the extra traffic on the roads. The Core Path networks are insufficient to allow riders much off road access.
  • reducing the seasonality of demand; Still the visitors only come in the summer. Hardy walkers walk all year round.
  • limiting the environmental impact of tourism-related transport; If the RSPB and NHI are allowed to put in links to the Peatlands, it is an environmental disaster to the Peatlands, as has happened in the Lake District.  SNH, in their usual efficient manner, have provided a succinct email outlining visitor numbers, but I have sent them a response, copying your goodself.
  • making tourism accessible to all; it is not possible to follow this route except by motor vehicle. The lack of transport links makes it difficult, if not impossible.
  • improving the quality of tourism jobs. The NC500 does not do this.  The jobs are still temporary and seasonal.

 A full report is being prepared for the Scottish Government.

LetsGoNorth – why not?