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Theme 5 Natural resources

Sutherland has a wealth of natural resources which are important on a local, regional and national level. The geological richness of the North West Highland Geopark, biodiversity and landscape resource make Sutherland an attractive place to live, work and visit. While the potential of its timber, wind, tidal and wave resources to generate renewable energy can bring benefits on a national scale whilst also boasting the local economy. Although agriculture in Sutherland is less significant to the local economy than agriculture is to the Highlands and Islands as a whole, production of high quality food and drink has the scope to support and retain land use activity in the county.

A list of actions of the Development and Action Plan gives more details of the actions identified and those being carried out.

Current SP projects

Sutherland Partnership Land Use Working Group
Under the direction of the Sutherland Partnership Chair, Jim McGillivray, we invited researchers from the UHI Centre for Mountain Studies to give a presentation on their research entitled Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century. A note of the presentation and subsequent question and answer session is available here.

North West Highlands Geopark
In order to protect and enhance our geological assets in the North West Highlands Geopark a Geodiversity Action Plan and Local Geodiversity Action Plan has been produced. This work is being funded by Highland LEADER, SNH and The Sutherland Partnership.

Geodiversity Audit and Local Geodiversity Action Plan

Sutherland Partnership Biodiversity Group
The Sutherland Partnership Biodiversity Group meets quarterly and its members are drawn from agencies and local organisations. The Sutherland Partnership also administers the Sutherland Partnership Environmental Fund.

Other projects

Lairg Eco-croft Project
Project to support crofters through a cooperative system based on principals of permaculture and local supply chains.

Useful links

Highlands and Islands Enterprise - Energy sector overview

North West Highlands Geopark

Scottish Rural Development Programme

Scottish Natural Heritage

Forestry Commission Scotland

If you would like further information or would like to comment on the Development and Action Plan please contact Fiona Mackenzie, Development Officer on 01549 402 646 or at

Bonar Bridge
Bonar Bridge