(December 2022) Architecture and Design Scotland recently delivered the Climate ready Annan event at the Corner House Hotel by bringing community groups together to take climate action.
You might think of caravans idling along country lanes in the heat of the summer. But not so in mid-December, when Kerry from Moving Images Cinema Caravan brought her wonderful cine-caravan to Annan for a screening of climate action films. Kerry managed to stay outside all day to staff the caravan, a testament to her desire to raise awareness of climate action despite the freezing temperatures.
A newfound purpose for climate action in Annan
On the coldest day of the year thus far, our Climate Action Towns project team travelled the length of Scotland in glorious sunshine to deliver a Climate Ready Annan event in The Corner House Hotel. Climate Action Towns is looking to promote the project in Annan after a challenging first year.
Despite the collaborative energy in Annan stalling for several reasons, such as the pandemic, a newfound sense of purpose around climate action is beginning to re-emerge in the town.
Community groups that attended the event
The event was attended by a variety of community groups including the Annan Harbour Action Group - who await their Levelling Up Fund (LUF) award from the UK Government. We have our fingers crossed they hear from LUF next week, and the go ahead with a wonderful project supported by Arc Architects and their team of specialist consultants to develop the harbour and associated Merse.
The Annan History Group had a wonderful presentation covering its remit of ‘Annan; the History Town’ and this was amplified by the Devil’s Porridge Museum – the story of HM Factory Gretna, a munitions factory in World War One, where the ‘Devil’s Porridge’, also known as cordite, was mixed.
We had tables from the Solway Firth Group and Restoring Annan Water dealing with coastal and river flooding and riparian (the area between the land and the river relating to vegetation habitats) rewilding—a great mix that really got participants thinking about the local flooding context.
Steven Clark from Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (SCCAN) also undertook media training on climate action that went down very well.
Mapping climate action in Annan
Public participants were also able to map their climate action aspirations, barriers, and opportunities at the town and catchment scales as part of our drop-in mapping session.
Flooding is the prominent climate issue facing Annan, which was clearly captured by the mappings that participants laid out across the town and catchment maps.
Mark Dowey, Senior Design Officer for the Climate Action Towns project said: "These drop-in mapping sessions will empower the community in Annan to shape their future with climate action at the heart of place-based change. It is a great way of understanding what people think about their place and how the issues and opportunities in Annan can interrelate."
Next steps of climate action for Annan
The next stage of the Climate Action Towns in Annan will be to extend the capacity of the local groups to deliver climate actions.
We will do this by implementing the Scottish Community Development Centre training programme to build community capacity. This training has been a catalyst in Stevenston where it is now complete, resulting in its community exploring the development of a community-led action plan. And we hope that Annan will embrace the training in a similar way.