This month we focus on the Dee Catchment Partnership. Established in 2003, the partnership unites around 16 organisations – including agencies, landowners and other interest groups – in the shared goal of protecting and improving the River Dee and its tributaries. From planting trees and re-wiggling rivers to tackling invasive species and building sustainable drainage systems in Aberdeen, the partnership’s projects are all grounded in tackling the climate emergency, restoring habitats for nature and supporting sustainable food production. The partnership is managed by freshwater ecologist, Dr Susan Cooksley, of Aberdeen’s Hutton Institute.
- Tell us about your PR strategy?
Restoring natural habitats and boosting our resilience to climate change have never been more important. Our PR efforts aim to get that message out loud and clear, while highlighting the work we’re doing to tackle these challenges. From highlighting the small changes people can make to help nature, to shouting about our large-scale restoration projects, we target regional and national media with our stories. We recently won the Nature and Climate Action Award at the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards for our restoration of the Beltie burn near Torphins – so we know our work is being recognised.
- Why do you invest in PR?
Being visible in the media is critical for us because we rely on public support and involvement to make a real difference. Everyone has a part to play – from stakeholders and local people to those visiting from further afield, so it’s important we reach both local and national audiences. We’re proud to be one of Scotland’s foremost catchment partnerships with a strong track-record in delivering successful projects, and we want to keep building on our 20-year history towards a more sustainable future for the people and nature of Deeside.
- What are the key benefits? What has worked well?
Our first project with Instinct – highlighting our work adding storm-damaged trees to the restored Beltie burn to create more habitats for wildlife and slow water down during heavy rain – secured excellent coverage across local and national audiences and brought us a lot of attention. It’s great to work with such a friendly and engaged team, who are down to earth and really understand our projects, know our people and how the partnership works. They’re a safe pair of hands.
- Where are your efforts currently focused?
We’re currently working on a press release announcing the results of the Dee Pearl Mussel Survey, a project we undertook in YEAR, funded by NatureScot and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.