Welcome to the Coigach & Assynt Sense of Place Toolkit
Sense of Place is a phrase used to define how a place makes us feel: what it is about a place that makes it special and different to anywhere else.
This Toolkit can help you make the most of being a part of Coigach & Assynt. It contains art and stories designed to communicate what Coigach & Assynt are like, from the perspective of the people that live here. This can help anyone who wants to talk about Coigach & Assynt, creating landscape interpretation, writing, or advocating for its communities. We hope that it will even help anyone who is considering moving to the area find out more about our experience of life here. From the tourism business perspective, it contains ideas for how to improve your marketing; your customer relations and visitor welcome; and your own enjoyment of the landscape.
Coigach & Assynt is a creative, diverse, beautiful place. A place that inspires a sense of space, freedom, and adventure. If visitors appreciate and connect emotionally with Coigach & Assynt they are more likely to visit again, spend money, tell their friends about it and respect the people and landscape. In this way, promoting a strong sense of place can support the local, sustainable economy.
This Toolkit is an aid to your own communications activity and is designed to help you draw upon the special qualities of the area in how you promote your services and engage with stakeholders and customers.
We’ll be updating this page with examples of businesses using a sense of place approach. If you’d like to be featured, get in touch at: email@example.com
All the content is available for you to freely use and adapt. Explore the themes below and download images, videos and other content from our media library.
Written by Lizzie Williams, Web development Countryscape.
Theme one: A place filled with cultural heritage, creativity and community spirit
This is a place where the landscape and the often-challenging weather encourage resourcefulness and creativity; a mentality which fosters innovation and a proud community spirit.
Theme two: Immersive landscapes, ripe for exploration
Our landscapes and seascapes are extraordinary, and diverse. Huge skies and hulking great rocks. Ever-splashing burns and mirror-calm lochs. Wild open heath and mossy intimate woodland. Open sea and a patchwork of islands. Light on the rock and water changes through the day and with the seasons. All these inspire a sense of space and freedom and a desire to explore, fill the lungs with fresh cool air, have wild adventures – or just sit and gaze in awe.
Theme three: Beautiful beaches and wild shores
Coigach and Assynt are fringed with beautiful beaches and wild shores; some huge and conspicuous; some tiny and tucked away in hidden coves, only to be found at low tide. From a gentle sunny day amongst the machair to a wild winter blasting you’ll find peace, invigoration and interest along the shore.
Theme four: Island mountains
Our iconic mountains stand alone. The ancient rocks have fascinated geologists for centuries, and influence the fauna and flora that is found on their slopes, gullies and peaks. Despite their imposing silhouettes they are relatively accessible and the views out over the coast and islands are staggering. They also form a stunning backdrop to lower-level experiences. Whether you climb them or enjoy them from sea-level, they will be part of your experience.
Theme five: A place to care for
The purity of the air and water; the quietness; the lack of traffic and heavy industry; the dark night skies; the striking land and seascapes; the presence of wildlife such as eagles and cetaceans, and other special habitats hidden beneath the waves. Living so close to the wild land and sea gives many people a strong connection to nature, and a desire to look after our environment. Nature nurtures us, giving us a sense of peace and freedom, as well as providing fresh seafood fished using in non-destructive methods. This area has several designations such as National Scenic Area, Geopark and Marine Protected Area which make caring for it a national priority.
Theme six: A place to live
This place may seem wild and sparsely-populated, but there are signs that it has been inhabited for millennia. Ancient buildings; myths and legends; Norse and Gaelic names for every peak and knoll: these all form a strong cultural heritage and inspire many forms of creativity including music, visual art and poetry.