Conference 2023

Seven Lochs Wetand Park

Urgency, Innovation & Collaboration for our lakes, Lochs and wetlands

Over the last 14 years or so UKILN has been a network, we have largely concentrated on sharing best practice in lake protection and restoration between all those who work directly with lakes in some capacity or have them as part of their work-place responsibility.

In recent years however and particularly as we came out of the Covid restrictions, there has been a stark awareness of just how important lakes and lochs are to us: not only their ecological and water quality, but also the value they are for individuals and communities well- being.  This now becomes an increasingly important perspective for us to explore through our annual conference.

In 2023, we are particularly fortunate to team up with the “Seven Lochs Partnership” who have, for some time, not only recognised just what lakes give communities and individuals but also that the optimal approach for their protection can come from the communities themselves living close to their shores.

The very Partnership itself demonstrates how different organisations can work together on a common agenda to create a better environment, contribute to community well-being and use nature based approaches to tackle the future challenges posed such as climate change: in effect, establishing the resilience that will be needed for the whole area of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park to thrive.

It’s not surprising therefore that in distilling down the conference programme to establish this year’s title, we have arrived at that seems more to do with social science, rather than our conventional technical and  scientific agenda.   “Urgency, innovation and collaboration” These are the cornerstones of modern and successful partnerships and Seven Lochs certainly provides lots of evidence on how that can be realised.  Over the 2 days we will show-case specific projects and initiatives implemented but perhaps more importantly, offer a framework which could be adopted / adapted for similar scenarios where we look to social and environmental challenges being seen as joint plans.

The conference follows our tried and tested formula of one day of presentation and a further day out in the field, seeing first- hand the fantastic work this Partnership and associated communities / volunteers have accomplished.

In addition to hearing from key players  from the Seven Lochs partnership area, we will draw from other lake Partnerships with experience about similar challenges being addressed across mainland Europe, coordinated by the Germany based Global Nature Fund.

The conference, as ever, aims to be eclectic in scope and inspirational in content.

We very much look forward to seeing you in October at Strathclyde University and on site around the Seven Lochs Wetland Park


John Pinder    —-  Chair UKILN         

Scott Ferguson  —- Seven Lochs Project Coordinator