Latest film… and meetings planned

You can watch Fiona Bell’s latest 2 minute film about the SEAchange treeplanting day on 5th March 2022 – click on the link:

Our next SEAchange meeting will be a community consultation on Saturday 21st May 2022 – save the date – more details soon…

First trees planted!!!

On Saturday 5th June 2021 we celebrated planting the first trees with the p7s from Slains School and many others, young and not so young, all working together and enjoying beautiful sunshine in the Kirkland field. Click here for a link to Fiona Bell’s 3 minute video of the day

If you would like more info email:

Ownership news!

As of 31st March, SEAchange now owns the land for creating a community woodland, as well as the kirk building with a small piece of land alongside the graveyard. We’re very grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for their grant award which has made this possible.

We’re excited to be starting out on this new venture, which we believe will enrich our community in many different ways and we would like to thank all the community for input, feedback or support in helping to achieve this milestone. 

Cheers from the trustees!

More trees planted 5th March 2022

On Saturday 5th March there was a SEAchange open Day to plant more trees in the Kirk Wood as we have received 420 trees from the Woodland Trust, and also trees from Slains School.

More than 50 people had fun planting them as you can see in this 2 minute film by Fiona Bell

SEAchange Meetings

SEAchange meetings are continuing online during this time when we can no longer gather in person.  You can follow what is happening here on the website, or on our Facebook page.

You are welcome to join us for discussion and planning future action, sharing progress, and listening to invited speakers. 

Fill in the website form, or email us on <> if you would like to be involved.

A Vital Step for SEAchange

SEAchange has been awarded a grant from The Scottish Land Fund,

which enables the purchase of the old Slains Kirk building for community use, together with land on which to plant trees to begin to offset our community carbon footprint.

This funding will be a big step forward in realising a community project which began to take shape in 2018. There has been a lot of community input, with many people sharing ideas, needs, concerns and visions of what could be achieved.

The project highlights taking individual and community action to mitigate the climate emergency by working towards becoming a carbon neutral community. A need was also expressed for somewhere that people could meet each other on an informal drop-in basis.

In Nov-Dec 2019 an independent community ballot was held. Of 187 votes cast 74% supported the centre and café in the kirk building and 75% also supported the woodland area which will provide additional recreational opportunities as well as sequestering carbon emissions.

With this grant award SEAchange will be able to take the first steps in implementing these community aspirations.

Professor Pete Smith, FRS, FRSE, FNA, FEurASc, FRSB, Professor of Soils & Global Change, University of Aberdeen, and also a trustee of SEAchange, said:

“We are delighted with this award from the Scottish Land Fund. It will allow us to develop the old Kirk for use as a low carbon community café and the land for creating community woodland. There is still a lot of work to do, but this award marks the first vital step on our journey to become a carbon neutral community.”

You can read a summary of a talk on the climate crisis by Professor Pete Smith via this link.

SEAchange would like to express our warmest thanks to the Scottish Land Fund for this award, and also to the Formartine Area Committee, The Architectural Heritage Fund, and Just Enterprise for their help in researching and developing the project.

A Brief Outline

What we want to do and why

Our vision is to become net carbon neutral as a community by 2045 at the latest, and to try to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible. We aim to do this through changes in the ways we travel, the ways we heat our homes, the ways we consume energy, the food we eat and how we live.

As we learn more about climate change facts, we’re sharing what we learn.

We are very grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for awarding us funding which has enabled us to purchase land on which to plant a community woodland to help offset our carbon usage, and also the Slains Kirk building, in which we hope to create a café that people will enjoy coming to. People in our community have expressed the need for somewhere to meet each other informally, as some feel lonely and isolated, particularly in the winter months.

We still need funding to renovate the building as our project centre, with investment in energy efficiency and in sources of renewable energy.

At the same time our café will celebrate the historic Slains Kirk building, and will feature stories from the community’s past, reaching across centuries, and valuing the roots which have made the community what it is today.
It will provide a venue to encourage art and musical talent – and to appreciate the craftsmanship of the building itself.

All ages in our community have already been involved in different aspects of the SEAchange project.

Carbon Neutral Community 

Our aim is to work towards becoming a carbon neutral community. We need to address our large carbon footprint, because we are a mainly commuting community, with high heating bills from living in old stone houses. We aim to do this in a number of ways:

  • One of our team is Professor Pete Smith, FRS, FRSE, who is an international climate change scientist working at the University of Aberdeen, who has contributed regularly to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who is advising us on the necessary steps on a pathway toward net zero emissions as a community by 2045 at the latest, with ambition to reach net zero sooner.
  • We have been in contact with Professor Dave Reay at the University of Edinburgh who has agreed to offer honours / masters students the opportunity of coming to our community to do research projects which will help us to quantify our baseline carbon footprint levels, to provide a roadmap for emissions reduction and to advise on how we can monitor progress toward our net zero ambitions in the coming years.
  • We see the disused kirk, which is a 200 year-old stone building, as an ideal example to demonstrate what can be done with high specification insulation, ground-source heating, and renewable energy, to transform old buildings like those we live in to net zero housing. This will serve as an example and a demonstration, with all of the details and costs on display on boards so that people can learn from the renovated kirk and adopt the technologies in their own homes. To this end, we plan to make it the centre of this project, creating a café information centre for learning and sharing ideas about the changes that individuals can make through lifestyle choices
  • We also aim to purchase land nearby which we will plant with trees. The woodland planted on this land will offset 830 return car journeys to Aberdeen per year. We hope to acquire more land for planting trees in the future, but this initial step would be key in raising awareness of the cost in carbon emissions of car journeys, and the potential of encouraging car-sharing. Tree-planting will also provide added biodiversity habitats, with at the same time amenity value for the community. Working together to plant the trees will help grow our feeling of community, and of well-being.
  • As we go forward we hope to work more with other groups, particularly other small communities with similar ambitions.
  • The changes we learn how to make in our own homes and lifestyles will be on-going, and we hope that – together and individually – we can make a lasting difference as we work towards becoming carbon neutral. We hope to acquire more land for tree planting as funds allow, expanding the project as soon as possible.
  • We believe that as we find effective ways of reducing our use of fossil fuels, and our over-use of energy, we can inspire others to realise how important this is.


Longer Term:

Running a café which will be a centre for sharing information about climate change and what individuals can do through lifestyle choices. There will be wall displays with information about low carbon living

  • Our café will give a lead by example in sourcing all food as locally as possible, by providing exciting plant-based menu choices, and in participating with local initiatives to use surplus food for community benefit, thereby creating as little waste as possible.
  • The café will also provide a place for people to meet each other informally – a need expressed by the community
  • Providing learning resources for local children and young people, in partnership with Slains School, especially with respect to the impacts of climate change, and ways to reduce our own carbon emissions.
  • Developing a continuing programme of educational, artistic, musical and other relevant activities for all ages
  • Providing training in practical skills, both in the café and the woodland environments
  • Training also in skills such as improved driving techniques to minimise fuel consumption
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