cadispa LogoThe CADISPA Trust (Conservation and Development in Sparsley Populated Areas) is an independent charity which helps people in rural areas to build sustainable communities ‘for themselves – by themselves’, To do this, CADISPA works with local communities, offering them various forms of support including advice on funding and legal matters, a range of community based research services and access to a peer-to-peer network of similar groups across Scotland.

The CADISPA Trust has two main objectives that include working directly with local people to enable them to become as informed and as powerful as their professional neighbours, and to choose a mandate of development options that will make their community more sustainable; To ensure that local development sits within the ‘triangle of sustainability’ and asks local development groups to address environmental, social and economic factors in any project they pursue – helping them find a definition of ‘sustainable development’ that has meaning and resonance for them.

Cadispa provides ongoing support for communities they have worked free of charge and for as long as the community needs it. In return CADISPA asks that each group works with others from the network to provide support and advice where they can.

There are currently over fifty CADISPA partnership groups in the network each committed to helping each other progress.

The network is perhaps Cadispa’s greatest asset; it is a vibrant reservoir of talent, opinion and expertise that is freely and, usually, immediately available to groups or individuals looking for help or advice. Many of the groups in the network have been with CADISPA for over twenty years and, over that time, have become expert, not only in their own development area, but also can advise on volunteer motivation, funding routes, legal challenges, indemnity issues and sustainability on the ground. It is this network that makes CADISPA unique.

CADISPA also hosts training, clustering and roadshow events and gatherings that are designed to allow groups to come together to share experiences, and to be introduced to the most up to date information in areas of most interest to them. In the past these have included information on village halls, youth drop-in centres, project management, funding, legal issues and environmental concerns.

The Trust publishes the stories and lessons learnt from the different group experiences on the CADISPA website where anyone to freely access and share in the successes and frustrations of locally led sustainable development.

CADISPA also use the information gathered from the Network to inform Government and other institutions on policy development issues.These ‘briefing papers on rural and sustainable development’ are also used by those in Higher and Further Education so that their students can reap the benefit of accurate, up-to-date and critically relevant illustrations of how rural areas, in all their modern forms, are developing.

To find out more about The Conservation and Development in Sparsley Populated Areas (CADISPA) visit their website HERE.

References: Cadispa Trust. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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