What is 'The North Coast 500'?
Have you heard of the 'North Coast 500' or NC500 for short?
The following is a description from Wikipedia:
The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile (830 km) scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. The route is also known as the NC500 and was launched in 2015, linking many features in the north Highlands of Scotland in one touring route.
The route has an official website that can be found here.
The Good / The Bad
The route has attracted a lot of attention and it has, without doubt, been successful in having generated an economic boost for the area, which some would argue is much needed.
However, this has not been without controversy. Questions have been raised and criticism made over the impacts on local infrastructure, the increase in incidents of dangerous driving and what the environmental impact could be.
It is indeed a tangled web.
Our business and life sit 'within' the NC500 and we have mixed views on it, as we can see and appreciate the arguments on both sides. However, our biggest concern is the environmental impact and for this reason we are lukewarm about the concept.
The thing is our view of the current situation does not really matter that much, what matters is the future and working to make things better.
Like it or not, the NC500 is here to stay, and so what we are interested in is, what can be done help resolve or reduce the impact the NC500 has on the environment?
We believe strongly that Blue Carbon has a roll to play here, and have various ideas of how we can take our restoration work, reframe it and extend the benefits in order to help in starting to offset carbon emission, like those generated by the NC500.
Can we solve all the world's problems with a project like this that just focusses on the NC500? No, but small steps count and they add up. If we are successful we can create a template and hopefully inspiration for others to do the same wherever they are in the world.
But before we go any further we need to do a bit of what they call 'customer discovery'. Our aim is to try and gather the views of those who have travelled the NC500 or plan to travel it.
If this is you, then can we please ask you to take 10 minutes to fill out the Google Forms survey below?
If this is not you, then we would appreciate it if you could still share it to your social media platforms.
The idea is that we shall have a few follow up conservations with any willing participants, and then go from there.
We are offering an Amazon UK gift card (£10), with a winner to be drawn at random.