FRESh 2014


Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of May 2014

This years FRESh was held on Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd of May. Over the two days we had something for everyone from interesting discussions and debates, to our FRESh FOOD Festival and Family Fun at our FRESh Fields event. Click here to see the full programme.


The Friday kicked off with  our international guest speaker Werner Frohwitter from Feldheim, Germany, an energy self-sufficient community. His presentation not only motivated listeners but also set the inspirational tone for the event. This was swiftly followed by our dynamic debate ‘Silo Breakers, Progress Makers’ chaired by influential broadcaster and journalist Lesley Riddoch, with a range of guests from the sustainable communities sector, including: Angus Hardie from Scottish Community Alliance, Daye Tucker of Scottish Enterprise Rural Leader, Glen Bennett from EAE Ltd, Andy Wightman of Land Matters, Chef Neil Forbes  from Café St Honore and Richard Thorne  of Garmony Hydro. The debate focused on key topics including Land, Energy, Sustainable food, and transport. It was an exciting debate as the audience engaged and put their questions to the panellists.


Interesting discussion were continued with a range of speakers, from organisations such as The Energy Savings Trust, DETAS, Climate Challenge Fund & Keep Scotland Beautiful, Carbon Conversations and Harlaw Hydro.

FRESh Fringe

Our FRESh Fringe event was held over two days, it hosted  pop-up ‘soap box’ presentations, exhibitions from a range of organisations and community groups from across Scotland, and a exciting workshops.

Workshops included Eva Schonfeld from Fife Diet and Alan Brown from Transition Linlithgow who led our FRESh Food Workshop; Our land workshop was hosted by Alison MacLeod from Applecross and Ian Cooke from DETAS; sustainable transport was explored with Matt Eastwood from Car Plus, John MacDonald from Community Transport Association and Matt MacDonald from SUSTRANS; and ‘Community energy a FRESh perspective was held by Matthew Black of FDT and Alis Balance from Moffat CAN. The ‘Transition Movement’ was discussed with Eva Schonfeld of Fife Diet and Alan Brown from Transition Linlithgow. We were also joined by Mike Small from Fife Diet who hosted ‘Recapturing our food systems’ and last but certainly not least, Lesley Riddoch hosted a ‘Blossom’ workshop giving participants ‘behind the book’ insight.

Participants could test drive an electric car, test ride an electric bikes and take part in energy efficient driver training.

FRESh awards night – half a dozen FRESh Eggs

FDT has been overwhelmed by the positive response of the first ever FRESh awards – awards for communities by communities. To celebrate the amazing work that  takes place across Scotland.


We received over 100 individual nominations for our 6 categories, with winners being announced on Friday the 2nd of May 2014.

“Inspiration in Sustainable Transport” Sponsored by Moorcar

“Inspiration in Sustainable Land” Sponsored Falck

“Inspiration in Sustainable Food” Sponsored by Vegware

“Inspiration in Sustainable Energy” Sponsored by Burness Paul

“All Round Good Egg” Sponsored by Fintry Development Trust

 Inspirational “FRESh Egg” Sponsored by Alyn Smith, MEP


Kindly presented by Glen Bennett of EAE Ltd and sponsored by Moorcar.

Honourable Mention-Greener Leith, We’ve given away 50 recycled bikes, trained 11 local people in accredited bike maintenance and leadership, organised bike rides and walking groups, improved local bike parking facilities, distributed thousands of local travel maps and provided free bike maintenance services to more than 100 local people.


Inspiration in Sustainable Transport – Stirling Cycle Hub, run by Forth Environment Link.  The vision of the Stirling Cycle Hub is to work towards a healthier, greener future by encouraging and supporting more people to cycle.  It opened in May 2013 at Stirling Train Station and has had over 3000 visits.  The hub acts both as an information centre for everything related to cycling, but also as a source of encouragement and inspiration to those less confident. Specifically the hub provides information on route planning, offers free maps and brochures, signposts people to local bike retailers and services, provides a bike hire scheme, and organises a range of cycling events aimed at supporting a wide range of cyclists.

Stirling Cycle Hub


Was kindly Presented by RT Hon Anne McGuire MP and sponsored by Falck.

Honourable Mention-Transition Stirling’s Wood for All project This project is working hard to engage local communities in woodland skills, including woodland management and looking at longterm potential of establishing local woodfuel supply. It connects people with the environment and where their energy/heating comes from, and fosters an appreciation and respect of woodlands that will have a ripple effect through communities.

Wood for all

Inspiration in Sustainable Land -Greener Kirkcaldy, Edible Landscape  Our new Edible Landscape project in Dunnikier Park is the first of its kind in the UK! It’s a partnership with the landowner Fife Council and has great support in the community. We’re turning a previously neglected part of a public park into a huge forest garden, using a permaculture approach to create a system rich in biodiversity and food. Russell has been working this winter and spring with volunteers, Scouts and pupils from the local school to plant trees and shrubs, and the next work-days will involve mulching large areas so that we can plant the herb layer next spring.

Greener Kirk


Presented by Chef Neil Forbes and Sponsored by Vegware.

Honourable Mention -The Mondo Loco Foundation –The Mondo Loco Foundation is a new charity which is encouraging sustainable growth within communities through food, sport and education to promote health, advance learning and fight poverty in Scotland. They also link with the Scotland Malawi partnership to share agricultural knowledge and skills. Based in Midlothian, they are currently working to establish edible gardens within primary schools in Bonnyrigg, and are leading a youth community garden project in Gorebridge in order to educate the younger generation the importance of food security. They lead their projects with amazing energy and enthusiasm which has inspired many young people in the community.


Inspiration in Sustainable Food The Seed Truck –Fife Diet is a hands on, innovative approach to inspire community groups, schools, start up growing groups or indeed anyone with an interest in sowing and growing. The project aims to ‘sow the seeds of a better food system’ offering practical workshops based on food sovereignty and climate change. The team involved is a diverse group of gardeners, artists, designers and storytellers who are all passionate about growing, inspiring and educating. The Seed Truck is a national initiative and does regular tours the length and breadth of Scotland, such as the current ‘Silver Bough- a cultural conversation about apples’

Fife diet


Presented by Cllr Mark Ruskell and kindly sponsored by Burness Paul.

Honourable Mention -Kirknewton Community Development Trust  Joint Venture Windfarm Investment using FDT model – Kirnewton Community Development Trust – for negotiating one of the best wind farm community benefit / investment deals in Scotland for their community if the windfarm is granted (with coverage in Sunday Herald), arranging an independent community consultation on the wind farm development – showing best practice on windfarm community consulation, opening a zero energy development owned by the community and arranging for a report to be shared with all communities for potential hydro projects throughout the forestry estate.


Inspiration in Community Energy -Callander Community Hydro Ltd. This projects takes community energy projects to a new level as not only does the community own the scheme and all profit generated will be invested in community projects, but the community are also raising some of the funds locally through a community bond to pay for the build stage of the scheme (along with recently announced investment from Triodos bank). Callander community hydro limited was set up to deliver an exciting community hydro electric project and has taken this from just an idea to reality!  With no developer involved the project has raised finance through 3 funders and all the profits will be gifted back to the community for local projects.  The project is being built along the route of the Stank Burn on Ben Ledi in the Trossach’s & Loch Lomond National park. The project’s turbine is being manufactured and construction work on the intake, pipeline and turbine house is about to start. Power will be exported back to the grid and the community will earn revenue from selling this and from the FIT’s tariff. Completion is expected in the autumn.



Kindly Presented by Bruce Crawford and sponsored by Fintry Development Trust

Honourable Mention – PEDAL-Porty – Tom has refused to give up on his dream of securing ownership of a community wind turbine for his community of Portobello, Edinburgh. His relentless volunteered effort has seen him on his third attempt as PEDAL attempts to develop a project on private land, in partnership with Greener Leith. Tom deserves great credit for his perseverance and unstintingly positive attitude.


‘All-Round Good Egg’ -The Ochils Landscape Partnership aims to increase access to the hills and glens of the Ochils, improve the quality of local rivers and restore parts of the historic built landscape. The project provides opportunities for community involvement and volunteering to tell the story of the area’s cultural, social and industrial heritage. It aims to enhance the lives of people in the Hillfoots and also to increase visitors to the area.  The OLP has over 370 regular volunteers and has successfully run the “Ochils Festival” for the past two years with the 2014 event this coming June bigger and better than before.  They have an ongoing programme of projects and activities involving Hillfoots Primary schools, community groups and individuals including geo-caching, guided walks, establishment of The Hillfoots Diamond Jubilee Way, Kirkyards trail and Devon trail, mobile app, online Virtual Visitor Centre, control of non-native invasive species, river bank stabilisation, seminars, craft demonstrations, pond dipping and foraging.  This year sees the return of the Tartan Ball which was originally held in the 1840s and will offer an opportunity to experience and savour authentic Scottish hospitality in a stunning setting at the foot of the Ochil Hills.  The OLP is now looking to the future and hope to expand their activities to maintain local community engagement, promote the the Ochil Hills and River Devon locally, nationally and internationally to provide a lasting legacy for generations to come.


FRESh Egg (Newcomer)

Kindly Presented and sponsored Alyn Smith MEP

Honourable Mention – Balerno Harlaw Hydro – Balerno Village Trust.   For facing the challenges of the hydro project, overcoming those challenges and sharing good practice.


FRESh Egg -Scottish Wild Beaver Group – “Scottish Wild Beaver Group, was founded to support the campaign to save the beavers on Tayside from being trapped and removed from the wild. With strong local and international support, working through the use of social media and the press, especially the Blairgowrie local newspaper , it succeeded in overturning the official policy, and saving the beavers which are now being monitored by SNH. SWBG has also launched an education programme making presentations to dozens of Tayside primary schools and local groups, raising awareness of this beneficial and charismatic native species returned to our countryside.”

beaver group


The FRESh Food Festival was hosted at the Fintry Inn and featured the skills of their own in house Chef – Julie Flisch. It also featured a cookery demonstration by award winning chef Neil Forbes, local food market in the outdoor beer garden, BBQ  with visits available to Fintry’s very own micro-brewery. Our guest chefs Neil Forbes and Fi Buchanan also shared some of their cookery secrets at our ‘Kitchen Chat’ event as well as with the children at Fintry Primary School.

cookery demo 2Cookery demo


Our FRESh FIELDS event had a rich mix of activities and fun for all. Keen cyclists of all ages were be able to test out their skills on our bike assault course, some chose to take their bikes to the bike doctor who were happy to fix any minor repairs. Many took the opportunity to plant with Growforth, and make wild flower seed bombs to take home and fire into their gardens to provide bee and butterfly flowers this summer. FF1

Some spectacular face painting was on show, and the young and curious took part in bug safaris. Pledges were made to save the planet, as others shopped for some handmade crafts, and more pedal power was needed to make a delicious fresh fruit smoothies on the smoothie bike. Well worth the effort!

 ff2 ff3

Indoors, Eco Drama provided their fantastic ‘Recycling Heroes’ workshop and show, which was enjoyed by the Cubs from Balfron and many other younger visitors.

Others chose to enjoy browsing, and collecting information and advice from wood working demonstrations by Green Aspirations and from the Butterfly Conservation Trust, Glendrick Roost and watch the Fintry Log splitters in action!

The atmosphere was jigged along by the wonderful live performance of Cherry Grove, who have just released their first album.


FDT would like to say a big thank everyone that was involved in this year’s FRESh event!  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!