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Nature Exchange Three - Managing our Natural and Cultural Assets
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Sep 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Nature Exchange Three - Managing our Natural and Cultural Assets. (NET) Adult Education Staff.For the last 15 years ARCH has used LLP funding to deliver comprehensive programmes in natural and cultural heritage management. ARCH programmes have seen over 1,000 learners from a wide range of government and non-governmental organisations within Scotland visit 12 countries within Europe to learn about the different ways in which new skills and competencies in nature conservation and cultural heritage interpretation can be delivered. ARCH works in co-operation with a consortium of 16 members representing a comprehensive range of natural and cultural heritage management organisations, government bodies, national parks and colleges.Nature Exchange Three aims to provide 96 adult learner participants with a focused, ready-made opportunity to take time out from their every-day work to learn about how conservation, education and interpretation work is undertaken elsewhere in Europe and give them an opportunity to consider new ways of working. NET will collaborate with partners throughout Europe from Iceland and Norway in the north to Cyprus and Bulgaria in the south. The aim is to develop Adult Education opportunities for staff through a series of structured courses, typically of 6 days duration with 2 days set aside for travel. These courses focus on the management of our natural and cultural heritage. NET is developed around the priority areas of work within natural and cultural heritage, conservation interpretation and education in Scotland today. Each training visit will be associated with a broad theme, which will provide a focus for activities through the week. Emphasis will be placed on exchange of knowledge, ideas, issues and solutions between the participants and hosts. Informal talks by participants on their work in Scotland and challenges they face, as well as talks from the hosts, encouraging focused discussion on how both participants and hosts can benefit from each other’s knowledge and experiences and how they can build this into ongoing adult education courses. As in previous years, we will work with our partners to develop adult education for staff training placements, which focus on new skills and knowledge and have the capacity for the exchange of best practice that fits with participants needs. For example in Iceland the focus will be interpretive techniques for understanding and conserving the cultural landscape, including the traditional skills of turf building. In Finland and Slovakia the programme theme is forest schools and environmental education. In Western Norway the themes are large mammal management, fishery management, predator control and balancing hunting and conservation interests. In Eastern Norway the focus is the management of montane scrub habitat. Our partners all share our aim of providing high quality and innovative vocational training. Receiving partners have been chosen because they are recognised by the UK consortium as being able to provide examples of best practice in the key areas identified as most important for our Scottish practitioners to learn. What they offer has the potential to be built into adult education, both formal and informal. NET participants will be drawn from the 16 member organisations in the ARCH mobility consortium which includes Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB, National Trust for Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, John Muir Trust, Plantlife Scotland, Trees for Life, Historic Environment Scotland, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park , Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust, Caithness Horizons, Earth building UK and Ireland, and Scotland's Rural College. All of whom have a remit to manage and protect Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage through conservation, interpretation and education. The ARCH consortium will positively encourage those from the more remote areas of Scotland to participate in NET through a publicity and dissemination campaign Our natural and cultural heritage plays a key part in promoting a Scottish identity internationally and is a priority for developing European inter-regional co-operation. "Establishing links and alliances with international organisations and regions and countries are long term strategies where effort needs to be prioritised.” NET addresses this priority.
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