Ms Catherine Sankey

  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow (School of Education)


School Of Education


I am an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Education. I have participated in a number of the PASCAL programmes most notably the PURE project where I formed part of the review team for regions in Norway and Sweden. I can offer insights into policy areas of regional environmental sustainability and the role of community engagement for health and wellbeing.  I am particularly interested in the endeavours which enable environmental improvement through community-led innovation by taking national ambitions and priorities and applying them at a local level.

Research interests

Kate Sankey has a background in Environmental Science and specifically heathland ecology. Early in her career she followed her desire to work in education : telling stories and interpreting the natural world.  She worked in both a formal and informal educational context, setting up a Countryside Education Trust in the New Forest and teaching both in FE Colleges and at the University of Stirling.  She spearheaded Environmental Education policy in Scotland as the first CEO of the Scottish Environmental Education Council. She was a founding Board member of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority appointed by the Scottish Government 2001-2012. She pioneered community development with the establishment of The Community Partnership in the National Park and was the lead on a number of community and education initiatives including The Skills Partnership – a National Park specific apprenticeship scheme.  She is also an organic farmer with a farm set on the Carse of Stirling which includes part of Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve.  The farm demonstrates biodiversity and ecoagriculture principles. The farm includes an agritourism glamping enterprise and a small venue for seminars, workshops, cook schools.  She is a creative artist weaving with willow and many other local natural materials. She has a particular interest in the social enterprise and rural community economies which underpin the current rural landscape. She is Chair of Forth Environment Link – a not for profit organisation championing Local Food and Growing, Active Travel and the Circular Economy.  She describes herself as a (bio)regional sustainable development practitioner and educator with a past career in environmental education and lifelong learning policy and practice both in community/voluntary/third sector organisations as well as a spell as a Stirling University academic.   Latterly with an honorary position with Glasgow University active in the PASCAL partnership.