The team gathered together to talk about their goals, victories, challenges and reflections from this year.
This year we had four new staff members join us. Carys, at the very start of 2021, then Anna to fill our Peatland ACTION Project Officer role, and finally Jack and Lewis towards the end of the year. We also gained David as our new trustee, again at the start of 2021.
You can read their intro blogs by clicking on their names – and you can also read Mat’s blog reflecting on his time as our Peatland ACTION Project Officer here.
We also said goodbye to Shalla in August, who had been running our Biosphere Explorers project.
CCC wanted to recruit new people to the team and increase the spread of knowledge and areas of expertise/interest at its fingertips, as well as the potential for individuals in the team to ‘mix and match’ on projects and events. CCC also wanted to focus on social media and communications and develop the online network. The team feels that both goals have been achieved.
In 2021 we wanted to develop a weekly blog, which will continue into 2022. Some of our highlights include our blogs on ‘The 12 Arguments that Delay Climate Action’, ‘The Tactics of Greenwashing’ and ‘5 Reasons why D&G Needs to be in the Climate Action Conversation’.
There were also personal work goals too. Anna wanted to get back into project management and become immersed in the peatland restoration activities going on, and both Jack and Lewis wanted to learn more about peatlands – especially lowland raised bogs, and forest to bog sites, which Lewis wasn’t previously familiar with (blanket bogs being far more common where he was last working).
Jayne wanted to engage communities with peatlands as part of the Peatland Connections project, and Emily wanted to delegate more of her many tasks to the team – whose spread of knowledge meant they could support this.
While part of our goals was to connect with the online networks more, in Peatland Connections the opposite was true. After struggling to connect online, the project went out into the community with artists and found a huge difference in the quality and quantity of connections.
Another victory has come in how our role in peatland restoration changed. There’s little need to convince landowners of the benefits of restoration; we can go straight into the restoration work.
"The way people look at peatlands has changed." - Emily Taylor
This was mirrored at COP26. In March we wrote a blog about why peatlands needed to be on the agenda – and they were. There was an entire pavilion dedicated to peatlands, and virtual pavilions which are still available to view here - this was created by the IUCN UK Peatland Programme.
There were many other victories at COP26 too, and you can read what Emily and our founder and trustee Mas got up to in their blog.
Reflections and Challenges
Alongside the shift in the peatland mindset – and the wider views about restoration work – comes the challenge of lacking mechanisms for doing the right thing. Sometimes, they just aren’t in place when you first need them. There is also plenty of peatland that doesn’t fit the restoration funding criteria but still needs to be restored. How do we change that? And how do we support peatland that has been restored, but needs ongoing management like scrub control?
Another challenge comes with how CCC works. We always try to find the gaps that need to be addressed and see them as an opportunity to do something innovative and meaningful. But finding those gaps can take a lot of time, knowledge, and networking that must be built up organically.
But challenges are a great part of working at CCC. Whether it’s stepping outside a comfort zone to grow and learn more or tackling a problem as big as the sector itself, there is spectacular potential in answering them.
We’re still looking to grow our team. We’re now searching for an office manager who can support our work – this is a full time, permanent post.
We’re also hiring for a new Peatland Connections project officer. Jayne has now moved on to a new role (and we wish her the best!) and so we’re seeking someone to take the reins where she left off.
You can read about these roles and how to apply here.
“It’s been nice to see CCC grow regardless of what challenges exist […] CCC always amazes me.” – Jayne Murdoch
In the New Year, peatland restoration work will be happening on the ground at both restoration sites, and we’ll be looking to deliver a programme of peatland restoration training (online) now that we have the capacity with our larger team.
We will be carrying out lots of survey work and actively developing partnerships with organisations new to us – there’s lots to come on that front in 2022. We’ll keep you updated via our blog.
Until then, Happy New Year!