The Coastal Communities Network currently has 24 member groups, located in coastal and island areas across Scotland.  All our member’s activities occurs within geographically defined areas (be that a village, town, island, or even particular stretches of coast or sea area), and is led by and accountable to the people who live and work there.

CCN constitutes a wide assortment of groups and organisations. Some groups are informal, with activities run solely by local volunteers and based on common interests. Others have become more formally organised, holding modest grants, sometimes employing staff, owning assets and delivering a limited range of local activities. These are often regulated as charities but retain their local focus. All, however, remain firmly rooted in and accountable to their community.

By joining CCN, community groups sign up to some common principles (see below) and must be working towards the CCN vision and aims. We recognise and celebrate that our members are diverse in their interests and activities, but we are united in our mission to safeguard Scotland’s seas & coasts.

An Advisory Group of individuals is drawn from the wider membership. The main purpose of the Advisory Group is to provide advice and guidance on the strategic direction of CCN, its priorities, and to provide technical input on local and other matters of relevance to the CCN Coordinator. There is an annual selection process for joining.

CCN Principles

Scottish Community of Place

You are rooted in place, with a definable and expressed area of interest.

Multi-Issue Marine Conservation

Within your geographical rooting, you have a stated aim on marine conservation, which aligns with CCN’s vision, and you work on more than one issue of concern to local residents and related to the marine environment (please note CCN does work with single-issue marine groups)


Your group is clearly grounded in, and directed by, local concerns and interests, demonstrably independent from external, non-local, groups.


Decisions are made collectively and transparently, and you hold a group constitution – or you are working towards this.

Working Towards Change

CCN is a Network of change-makers; we seek to identify and vocalise our concerns within the systems, which dictate how the marine environment is managed, and we are keen to work with other like-minded groups, who see the opportunities in pushing through reform.

Representation and Membership

You have an evidenced following of local members and/or supporters in your area, who support the cause you are working towards, and whose support provides you with a local mandate for your activities.


You are undertaking activities in your local area as per your group’s stated aims around marine conservation, and you are keen to join the Network as an active member, to learn from others and/or to share expertise.

Political Neutrality

You are not affiliated to any specific political party or group, but are open to working with politicians and MSPs from every political party in order to further marine conservation in Scotland.

Would you like your group to join the Network? To find out more, please contact us.  CCN also collaborates with many external groups.  Find out more about Friends of CCN.