Participation and involvement
Positive change means involving people properly. Changing how land is managed is an emotive subject, so that this – regardless of anything else – means that it makes good sense to include in the change process the people who have some sort of interest in that land. We can help land managers think about who needs to be involved and why, and we can advise on the most suitable techniques; as a ‘do-ancy’ (rather than a consultancy), we would also love to work more actively on doing some of that involvement work.
Involvement is a process, not a one-off. Just as land management is a long-term activity, so is people’s involvement in that land management. We use a process management approach to help land managers look at where people’s involvement fits into their overall plans for wilding/re-wilding/ nature-friendly land management, and what they would hope to be achieving through the involvement at different stages of the process.
Our approach is based on a number of elements:
- We are bringing years of experience of involving people in land management and livelihoods to the table, so that we have a pretty good idea of what is likely to work and what probably won’t.
- One size does not fit all, so we know the importance of understanding the particular context of a site and its management. For example, a project which is seeking a wilder approach to land management in or near to a relatively densely populated area with quite urban-thinking people will have very different needs to one situated in a place with many fewer residents who have more understanding of how local agriculture works.
- We know that while involving people is complicated and takes time, it also reaps benefits. It can help bring in new fields of knowledge, new ideas, new relationships and networks, and hopefully also support for the work.