Thursday 30 December 2021

Eco News in Scotland

Happy New Year to all our readers.

Here's some positive eco news for the end of 2021 with a Scottish twist!

Mini Ski Model, Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

💚 1) Luna the Dog's Epic Walkathon

Michael Yellowlees from Dunkeld and his Alaskan husky Luna set off on a 9 month 5,000-mile journey across Canada. Equipped with a guitar and a handcart, the pair raised thousands of pounds for the rewilding charity Trees for Life

Michael aimed to raise awareness on deforestation and the £40,000 funds raised will help to plant trees in the Caledonian Forest, stretching from the West Coast of Scotland to the Great Glen. (Scarily Luna went missing part way through the journey but was gladly reunited with Michael along the way!)

💚 2) Don't Ditch It - Repair It!

A new repair shop called ‘Remade Network’ was opened in Glasgow. In an interview with the BBC, Ross Cameron, store technician says he's fixed a lot of general household goods since he started.

"We've had music boxes, clocks, hairdryers, record players, radios, hedge trimmers and mowers - everything under the sun in terms of electrical stuff," he explains.

They also repair clothes and broken ornaments, laptops, tablets, iPods & phones. A brilliant way to preserve items and prevent them being added to landfill.

Eagle over Water Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

💚 3) The Eagles Have Landed!

Eagles returned to Loch Lomond after 100 years. Per the BBC, ‘It is believed that this is the first time sea eagles have settled at Loch Lomond since the early 20th Century.’

Following a re-introduction of white tailed eagles (otherwise known as sea eagles), there are now believed to be 150 mating pairs across the UK.

💚 4) Yell Yes If You Want To

On the island of Yell in the Shetlands, cars are being powered for the first time by tidal energy. Tidal energy was mostly used to power homes, but a new charging point has been installed to power up cars too!

💚 5) Up, Up & Away!

Inventor Rod Read from Shetland has produced a portable DIY wind turbine called a kite turbine initially made from scrap materials including a bicycle wheel. Small enough to take on camping trips too. Ingenius!

Dandelion in Breeze Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

💚 6) Shell Got Shelved

Shell has announced it is pulling out of the controversial Cambo oil field, located approx. 75 miles to the West of the Shetlands.

💚 7) Orkney Leads the Green-volution

On 2nd November 2021 (during Cop26 in Glasgow time), ITV aired a TV program about the green projects on the Orkney Isles. 

Did you know that Orkney produces around 130 percent of its energy needs through renewables, with 1 in 12 households in mainland Orkney making their own power supply (either by home turbines or solar panels)? Electrical vehicles are also popular with many charging points around the island.

In Shapinsay a wind turbine converts excess energy into hydrogen which can be used on the ferry MV Shapinsay & also for Orkney council’s hydrogen vehicles

Meanwhile, Orkney hopes to test the 1st hydrogen powered passenger plane, ideal for hopping between islands! Plus, what could be better than using hydrogen to run a sustainable gin distillery?

An energy convertor using the power of waves in the Scapa Flow has been developed & a tidal turbine called O2, located in the Fall of Warness, 
is being used to power around 2000 homes. (Unlike solar & wind, tidal power is more reliable as a regular source of energy.)

And finally, on the small Isle of Westray further North, a community owned wind turbine was installed, with excess power sold back to the grid. The profits from electricity are fed back into projects on the island, including affordable housing and a community garden and golf course. What a lovely idea!

Trees in Glass Ball Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

💚 8) Community Joins Together To Support Nature

A community in Scotland bought 5,200 acres of land belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch, with the aim of turning the area into the ‘Tarras Valley Nature Reserve’

The group Langholm Initiative successfully raised £3.8m by crowdfunding. Per Positive News, ‘Peatlands and ancient woods will be restored, native woodlands established and a haven created for wildlife including hen harriers.’

Langholm hopes to raise another £2.2m, with plans to increase the nature reserve to 10,500 acres in 2022.

💚 9) Rewilding Loch Ness & Beyond

The Affric Highland Initiative, in consultation with Rewilding Europe and Trees for Life are aiming to restore nature to 500,000 acres of landholdings, stretching from Loch Ness across to Scotland’s west coast. 

The charity 'Trees for Life' have so far established nearly two million native trees across the Caledonian Forest.

💚 10) Healing Nature One Tree at a Time

Check out this wonderful video on the importance of rewilding made by the Scottish Rewilding Alliance (sound on).

The Scottish Rewilding Alliance are calling for rewilding of 30% of Scottish land and sea by 2030. Bravo!

Check out our good news section for more positive news.