Pat's Letter

To my great nieces and nephews: Veyatie, Pollaidh, Rosie, Ruraidh, Bella, Joanna, Florrie and Jack,

Dear all, I'm writing this as I see more and more of our precious environment taken away from the animals, birds, trees and other plants, in the name of 'development'.

So I want to ask you what is real development? I have lived long enough to see, for example, how wars have 'de-developed' other countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, to name only a few. I have lived to see changes in the landscape, for example, on the very farm where your great grandparents lived and where we as children spent most of our holidays and learned about the rhythm of life on a small farm: the milking of the two or three cows, the two cart horses working to pull machinery, the care of hedges and the village involvement in berry picking and tattie howking. The farm steading is a soul-less concrete yard with a set of townhouses staring bleakly out towards the monoculture of remaining fields and the remaining woodland (our 'Fairy Wood') in the distance, or in the other direction towards a suburb of newly built houses, crowded together where we could find mushrooms on walks.

There are good things too: increasing awareness of the importance of preserving peat and the wonderful stretches of moorland where it is found, such as the Flow Country in Caithness. Even the whisky industry is aware of its importance for carbon storage - more urgently needed than peat-smoked whisky!!

There is tree planting, again, with more awareness of the value of native species and variety, rather than the dense plantations of pine.

Locally, in our area, there is enthusiastic participation in community orchards, community allotments and wilding projects. These give us hope, and my wish is that these, rather than private, individual pleasure-places, be supported, so that they grow and flourish without being taken out of their local communities.

With love and hope,


Were you Inspired by Pat's letter?

Submit your own letter today, it only takes a few minutes and it will help show the public are ready and willing to take action on climate change – and we need the government to act now.

Submit a Letter

The Great Big Green Week

The Great Big Green Week is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change. Find out how you can get involved.

Find Out More