A social enterprise for the community
By harnessing centuries old skills that were common across the Highlands, the Shieling Project believes that by looking to the past the project can provide a blueprint for a more sustainable future. Its founder Dr Sam Harrison set out to build the Shieling Project as a social enterprise “to work for the community and not shareholders”.
The project is an off-grid learning centre, that invites and encourages everyone to experience outdoor living. The team teach people how to raise livestock, erect buildings from scratch, how to weave baskets and make burgers from the meat they have raised onsite.
From an empty plot of land in the Highlands, Dr Harrison and his team of dedicated volunteers have built the Shieling Project hub from scratch. The facilities include bothies that can sleep up to 36 people, a kitchen, toilets, washroom, a classroom and outhouses.
Dr Harrison said: “We found the perfect spot, we’ve got an historic shieling on the hill above us where we have started an archaeological dig and the site boundaries onto a pristine Glen full of wildlife and biodiversity.” The team hope the Shieling Project can inspire others with similar ideas to make them a reality. He added: “You have a strong sense of purpose and it is truly rewarding as you soon see the benefit your work is having on the community. For consumers, it makes businesses more relatable.”