‘But here and now, for sanity sake, I abandon the endless stream of anger in the digital world, stuff my silenced phone in my back pocket, pick up a pair of secateurs and venture out into the fresh air’. On Douglas, Atholl and ‘..celebrating a natural world without borders, the spirit of human adventure, and offering a fragrant protection against bad politics’.
‘Rights without any means of enforcement are truly useless. As part of the UK, Scotland is bound by the UN’s Aarhus Convention which requires that people must be able to challenge situations where their environmental rights are denied or environmental laws are broken. Article 9(4) says that these challenges must be “not prohibitively expensive”. But access to environmental justice is prohibitively expensive in Scotland’.
‘..it is time for governments to stop wasting time and money on technologies like CCS that aren’t working. They need to finally get serious about leading a major drive for energy efficiency instead’.
Rather than trying to unmake history, Scotland should build on it. Rich landowners, whether native-born or from elsewhere, who cherish Scotland’s wild places, can use their resources to help to care for for it and to protect it from the challenges of the future.
Top down policy won’t transform those wasted spaces. Meaningful regeneration grows upwards from community grassroots but it needs help from above. Fay Young introduces two articles by Susan Mansfield describing how empowered communities can transform local environments and quality of life.
‘Not everybody wants to participate in workshops, meetings, agendas.’ In her second article on the Stalled Spaces project, Susan Mansfield meets Scottish communities where regeneration begins in vacant plots and grows from the grassroots up.
What happens when local communities take control of wasteland? In the first of two articles Susan Mansfield reports on the extraordinary successes of the Stalled Spaces Scotland scheme.
‘The wilderness of Scotland is as artificial as any cityscape.’ ‘The Laird and the pauper live much closer in a city, but the injustice remains. It is simply easier to hide injustice in an area where the remains of life can be portrayed as a romantic feature, rather than a blemish.’ Reflections on the social injustice that destroys communities of Highland and inner city life.