Lochaber student selected for UHI prize

A student who conducted research into food production in Lochaber has been selected for a University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) award.

Louise Paget (38) from Invergarry won the Highland Society of London Prize for her dissertation on ‘COVID-19 and attitudes to local food production in Lochaber’. Her research found that there was an increase in both the production and consumption of local food in Lochaber during lockdown, due to factors including improved access and a desire to support local businesses. The study concluded that consumers would like to see more local food production and that this should be supported by improved policy and food strategies.

Louise, who studied sustainable development at UHI West Highland, was nominated for the prize by the course leader, Dr Eilidh MacPhail. Dr MacPhail explained: “Louise’s dissertation was an excellent example of bringing together academic learning, personal interests and locally based research to deliver an impressive piece of work. In light of Covid-19, Brexit and climate change, local food production is of growing interest and importance to communities across the Highlands. Louise’s research offers some valuable insights into how this could be developed in future.”

The Highland Society of London is a charitable organisation which promotes and supports the traditions and culture of the Highlands of Scotland. Its annual prize is awarded to a student from UHI’s humanities and Gaelic subject network who is judged to have the best dissertation on a social, cultural, environmental or historical aspect of the Highlands and Islands.

As the winner of the accolade, Louise received £750. Speaking about her success, she said: “I am honoured and delighted to accept this year’s Highland Society of London Prize for my dissertation. I would like to thank UHI and the Highland Society of London for selecting me and my dissertation supervisor, David Skene, for his support throughout my research. His enthusiasm and knowledge on the subject have been extremely motivational.”

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