Update 2021: Coronavirus & Brexit

Nature Exchange 5 – Managing our Cultural and Heritage Assets   (NET5) Erasmus+ Key action 1 Adult Education project The NET project aims to improve staff competencies and add a European dimension to nature, conservation, interpretation and environmental management for Scottish managers, trainer’s, advisors and training planners.  ARCH works with a consortium of Scottish organisations to deliver the NET programme.

Update 1st February 2021

We hope that everyone is well in these challenging times.

We are planning to continue with our Adult Education courses in Natural and Cultural Heritage as soon as COVID conditions permit for safe travel. We hope to run NET & STEM courses in Europe later in 2021. The announcement that the UK is leaving the ERASMUS+ programme will not affect the running of the projects which already have signed contracts.

We will contact everyone who was offered a place on courses last year to ask if they would like to go this year when conditions permit. When we have established courses dates with our partners we will advertise the courses and the remaining course spaces.

We are horrified at the decision of the UK government to leave the Erasmus+ Programme. We we are committed to continuing to deliver high quality and unique educational experiences with our host partners until 2022, which will be the end of our current contract. The Government intend to replace the Erasmus programme with the Turing programme, but at the moment we have very little information about what form this will take.

Update Course Information: NET & STEM

We are currently working with our host partners to finalise course information, potential dates, and COVID safety precautions. As soon as we have more information on travel we will publish the new course information. Please read the information for the courses which were postponed in 2020. All participants who were offered a place on the courses in 2020 will be given the opportunity to take part in 2021. We will advertise the remaining places after we have confirmed the choices of the 2020 participants.

We have left the planned course information from 2020 on the website. We hope to run similar courses this year. If you are interested in any of the courses please email an expression of interest to libby@archnetwork.org and seona@archnetwork.org. We will only ask for applications when we have confirmation of dates for any particular course.

NET & STEM are funded by Erasmus+ and supported by the UK National Agency, ECORYS.


Application Information

Consortium: both the NET and STEM programmes are run through consortiums of Scottish cultural heritage, nature conservation and community organisations. You can find out which organisations are part of the NET and STEM consortium in the project section of this website. Each of the consortium partners promotes the courses through their own internal networks and via this website. Please ensure that you have the permission of your line manager before applying for a NET or STEM course.

*Please Note* SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage) staff have an internal HR process. Please contact us to express an interest in any of the courses but you must also complete the internal SNH process before you submit a full application. The course information will be available on the SNH intranet in January 2020.

Application Form: we ask all participants to fill in an application form which asks why you want to take part, how it fits with you and your organisations training needs, and how you would plan to report on the learning and share it with your networks in Scotland.

Preparation Meeting: we ask all participants to attend a preparation meeting to make sure that all the course requirements and logistics are clear, to introduce examples of best practice in reporting and dissemination and for the group to meet each other before they travel. The meetings are generally in the central belt (Perth, Stirling, Glasgow or Edinburgh).

Reporting & Dissemination: one of the strengths of the NET programme has been the range and quality of reporting from the courses. There is no set format for the reporting and we encourage participants to think of the best ways to communicate key messages to their own audiences and networks. All reports are shared via this website and you can view the reports from 2019 and use the search function to retrieve reports from previous years. Previous participants have used written reports, blogs, flims, GIS Storymaps, policy recommendations for Scotland, visual and audio diaries.

Course Lists 2021

We are working with our partners to identify potential dates for courses in 2021 and any changes due to COVID safe working practices. Obviously the situation can change rapidly in these times and all our plans will have to be flexible but we hope to be able to provide a safe and well run programme this year. As soon as the situation becomes clearer we will post course information and dates on this website and share through our consortium partners.

NET (Managing Our Natural and Cultural Heritage Assets)

Course List from 2020 for information (all these courses were postponed)

SLOVAKIA Lišov Museum (30 Apr to 7 May 2020), Application Deadline 2 Mar 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 1 Apr 2020: Exploring Community Heritage in Southern Slovakia

BULGARIA Devetaki Plateau Association (17 – 24 May 2020), Application Deadline 2 Mar 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 24 Apr 2020: Community Engagement & Rural Development in the Devetaki Plateau

NORWAY Evenstad (19-26 May 2020), Application Deadline 2nd March, Preparation Meeting Date 1st May 2020 Sustainable Hunting, Predator Management & Cross-Border Conservation

ICELAND Byggđasafn Skagfirđinga (31 May to 7 June 2020), Application Deadline 15 Mar 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 15 May 2020: Cultural Context and Practical Skills in Turf Building

POLAND EUCC (Society for the Coast) (31 May to 7 June 2020), Application Deadline 15 Mar 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 14 May 2020: Coastal Zone Management in Poland: from pure nature to pure engineering

SLOVENIA VITRA (2 – 9 July 2020), Application Deadline 20 Apr 2020, 19 June 2020: Sustainable Farming & Food Inside Biodiversity & Protected Areas with Different Educational Approaches

ESTONIA Viitong/ Heritage Tours (12 – 19 Jul 2020), Application Deadline 20 April, Preparation Meeting Date 22 Jun 2020: Cultural & Natural Heritage of Coastal Estonians

ROMANIA (Association Satul Verde) (24 – 31 August 2020), Application Deadline 18 May 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 14 Aug 2020: Small Scale Sustainable Farming in Transylvania.

FINLAND (TAMK Tampere University of Applied Sciences) (30 August to 6 September 2020), Application Deadline 18 May 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 13 August 2020: Forestry in Finland: education, practice and conservation.

LATVIA State Forest Service of Latvia (6 to 13 September 2020), Application Deadline 18 May 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 12 August 2020: Forests, Wetlands, Green Infrastructure & Digital Technologies.

STEM (Traditional Skills & Sustainable Materials)

Course List from 2020 for information (all these courses were postponed)

SPAIN XERA – Agency of Forest Based Industries Galicia (25th May to 1st June 2020) Please email an expression of interest and we will contact you to complete a full application when the course dates are confirmed. Wood working and forest management: traditional and innovation in Galicia

ROMANIA Fundatia ADEPT (12-19 June 2020), Application Deadline 15 Mar 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 22 May 2020: Linking rich biodiversity with traditional skills & rural development in Transylvania

ESTONIA Viitong/Heritage Tours (14 – 20 June 2020), Application Deadline 15 Mar 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 20 May 2020: Cultural heritage, traditional skills & nature: training & community engagement

POLAND Workshops of Culture Lublin (18 – 25 August 2020), Application Deadline 4 May 2020, Preparation Meeting Date 21 May 2020: Tradition, training & enterprise: cultural heritage & the Jagiellonian Fair

The reports from 2019 are very useful in helping you to decide which programme is going to be most relevant to you. There are a range of individual reports and films, as well as a summary report of NET 5 in 2019. Visit the Reports section of the website.

What the grant covers:

Training costs and fees: to the host organisation

Accommodation:   During the study visit. It does not cover any expenses incurred prior to the visit commencing or at the end of the visit. (E.g. staying in a hotel before departure or being collected from a designated collection point.)

The NET programme visits some of the most beautiful and rural areas of Europe. Please be aware that there may be shared accommodation, usually twin room, during the visits. 

Food:   The Grant covers the main meals, or equivalent packed lunches etc., for the group throughout the study visit.  This will vary from country to country but the basics will always be covered.

Travel:  Travel during the study visit is covered by the grant. It does not include any travel expenses incurred by the participant prior to being collected from the meeting point or at the end of the study visit after leaving the rest of the group. If a participant wants to pursue activities outwith the group, in their free time, then they must pay for any travel expenses incurred themselves.

There is a small grant available to cover exceptional costs for those traveling from the Islands

Who can go on these courses?

These opportunities are open to ‘Adult Education Staff’ of participating consortium members – that is – those who have a role in disseminating information, skills or informal training to colleagues, staff, in their own or other organisations or to the public.

Do I need to take annual leave to go on these trips?

Please have a conversation with your line manager about this as individual situations will vary.


Participants must purchase their own European Travel Insurance for the duration of the study visit.


We will publish any information on acquiring visas if these are required for particular courses.

Links to Destination Countries

Consortium Members

Scottish Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, Institute of Chartered Foresters, Plantlife International, Caithness Horizons, Earth Building UK and Ireland, John Muir Trust, RSPB, Historic Environment Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Trees for Life, Scotland’s Rural College. Archaeology Scotland and  The Scottish countryside Rangers Association