The Isle of Carna is a small island at the point where loch Teacuis and Loch Sunart meet on the West Coast of Scotland.
The island is 600 acres and includes a range of rich habitats including wildflower meadows, Birch woodland, Pinewood and internationally important Atlantic Oakwoods. The Island is comprised of approximately half woodland and half moorland, pasture and a small amount of grassland managed as a hay meadow.
There are only 3 houses on the island, two of which are open to guests, located on the sheltered eastern side. Carna has no roads so nature has no traffic, noise and pollution to contend with.
The highest point is the 170m (550ft) summit which offers impressive views of the surrounding Morvern and Ardnamurchan peninsulas; Mull and Atlantic Ocean beyond. There are countless, gullies, beaches and coves for wildlife to thrive, unbothered by Humans on the whole.
On Carna, we’re developing a Holistic Management plan to help co-ordinate the complexity created by multiple stakeholders.
We’re looking at ways the Island can improve its biodiversity and better mimic the missing ecological tier of predated wild herbivores.
We also want to be a model for creating profitable, socially integrated environmental solution to regenerating landscape and feeding people at the same time.
Stephen Grindrod LTD is a progressive building contractor based in the Lake District. Stephen wishes to adopt holistic management to try and future proof the business and minimise its impact on the planet.
We have created a context and are using the testing questions. The phase 1 plan is to take a series of actions over the next year to move the company into a more integrative and holistic management framework whilst using a feedback loop to monitor progress and adjust as necessary.
Ultimately we are working toward developing models of building that have minimal environmental impact, are healthy and functional to occupy and last centuries, not decades.
John and Maria manage this stunning hill farm on the edge of Coniston Water. The core of the farm has been in Johns family for many generations and has been run under a fairly traditional system with John and Maria having an interest in traditional breeds and conservation grazing.
John has seen some improvements in his fell land following a change in grazing tactic where traditional breed cattle are grazing instead of sheep and the herd rotated through large fenced/walled intakes allowing for some rest periods. This improvement has led John and Maria to Holistic Management and we are developing grazing and land plans for the inbye land currently under sheep grazing in a more set stocking system.
John and Maria also have several diversified farm enterprises including accommodation, a meat enterprise and a fibre enterprise which make the overall farm business complex and time consuming. Like many upland farms in the UK, they would struggle to survive without subsidies and want to build resilience and control into their farming model. We have developed a holistic financial plan to gradually move away from reliance on grants and subsidies and to help facilitate great decision-making within the business.
See the full profile of Nibthwaite Grange Farm.
Dalmas Tiampati is a remarkable man. Born Maasai in the Kajaido County of Kenya, Dalmas was reared as a Maasai herder.
After leaving his culture behind he achieved an Honours Degree and found a job in a University. But leaving your roots behind is not so easy, and Dalmas dreamt of returning as a herder to his people and culture. After working hard and taking a loan he managed to build a herd of 127 cows to return and live a simple but fulfilled life as a Maasai pastoralist.
But following a run of dry years in 2013 disaster struck and a drought of extreme severity killed 90% of the communities cattle – on which they rely entirely for nourishment. Children and elderly died of thirst and malnutrition and Dalmas used up all his money to help his people buy food.
With only 14 cows left he is rebuilding his life but had to return to work in the City, He had created a charity and wants to make his community more resilient to climate change and drought by teaching the techniques of regenerative pastoralism.
Regenerating grasslands will allow them to feed themselves and sequesters significant volumes of carbon out of the atmosphere into the soil helping the whole world reduce GHG.
Stephen and I want to help him build a Centre for Regenerative Pastoralism, where experts can come and teach the Maasai how to manage their land to regenerate their grasslands and the progress can be studied. We’re travelling to Kenya in December to help Dalmas create a Holistic Management Plan for the Centre and to start training some of the Maasai herders.