Rural Connect

SRUC Oatridge Campus

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The Rural Connect Project started in October 2012, and will run for 2 years funded by LEADER West Lothian , Heritage Lottery and SRUC Oatridge Campus. It aims to reconnect people in West Lothian to their local rural environment, through three themes; Discover, Share, Connect.

From toddlers to pensioners, schools, community groups, farmers / landowners and local organisations, everyone can get involved and create their own connections with the countryside and rediscover the amazing rural environment which surrounds us here in West Lothian.

Rural-Connect will re-connect over 2,500 people with their local rural environments by developing and delivering practical projects, community-based activities, setting up community volunteering groups and delivering skills development training and learning activities.

The project will facilitate inter-generational learning between older and younger residents of West Lothian, collecting living heritage records by engaging in discussions with older generations. We will also encourage and facilitate communications with land owners and urban groups to enhance and exchange viewpoints and stances, reaching common understandings about community access to land and resources.

Overall, this will equip people residents and businesses with a greater understanding of local heritage and the issues surrounding the loss of traditional skills in the area, and highlight the opportunities available to learn these skills and find jobs in these areas. The project will also help local residents understand the benefits of preserving West Lothian’s rural environment and local sustainable food production, and how these can have a positive impact on rural sustainability.

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