Detail of the back of the chair

Hasten Slowly- an Interactive Memorial Storytelling Chair

Early on in the development of the Lions’ Gate Interactive Permaculture Garden, David Benyon and I hit upon the idea of an interactive chair as a place of congress for discussing ideas about sustainability. The chair would be augmented with appropriate technology that could record, comment on and publish talks. It would be an attempt … Continue reading

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Graham Bell talk - Hasten Slowly

Lions’ Gate Talks on Soundcloud

Following last weeks first public event in The Lions’ Gate – Hasten Slowly, I’ve created a Soundcloud account to capture talks and make them available to all. Graham Bell was the first to speak in our new interactive storytelling chair crafted by wood designer Neil Fyffe. I’ll be writing a post on the event shortly … Continue reading

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Photo of teasel and ENU

Summertime in The Lions’ Gate

I’m sitting in The Lions’ Gate under the boughs of a rowan, in dappled sunlight and it’s most delightful. Birds are tweeting, bees are buzzing and nature’s bounty is putting on a bit of a show. Apple, medlar, plum and cherry trees are fruiting. Strawberries are ripening, herbs are flowering and our new lawn seems … Continue reading

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Japanese Quince

Views from the edge of Auld Reekie

On The Beach
For the past six weeks, having watched Seaspiracy, and been shocked into action, I’ve been picking up litter from a beach I pass on my morning cycle. It’s a potentially beautiful spot where the Dolphinton Burn meets the Firth of Forth, and swans, geese, ducks, oystercatchers, and gulls are just some of the birds you’ll see on any day by the water.

However, the Firth of Forth is, as a dog walker proclaimed this morning – ‘a dirty river’. Too true, I bought myself a litter picker and armed with it and a bag I’ve now an intimate relationship with human trash. Tyres, plastic bottles and tops, sanitary towels, a lot of sanitary towels, innumerable pieces of plastic of all sizes and types, shoes, lots of shoes, clothing, ropes, wipes, food packaging, fibrous and congealed human-made materials, just about anything you can think of that humans make and nature has to suffer. I always think of a whale or dolphin or any sea creature consuming this stuff, and the complete misery of that vision is sobering. I can clear that beach, just about, in a month, but then it all comes back again. How not to despair?


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Photo of pollinating bee

Seed-bombing the rockery below John Napier’s tower

I’ve just been sent a pack of 100 seed-balls as part of the Keep Scotland Beautiful #BeeDiverse campaign. I’m sure we’d all agree that the rockery beneath John Napier’s tower would be a delightful sight covered in flowers and populated with bees and butterflies. Bee populations are in dramatic decline due to habitat loss – … Continue reading

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Sustainability word cloud

Preliminary insights from our student attitudes to sustainability survey

I’ve been playing with data from our recent School of Computing survey into student attitudes to sustainability. The point of the survey was to gather evidence of how students feel about sustainability, as a precursor to organising focus groups that will investigate how we can embed sustainability methods and materials into computing modules, in the … Continue reading

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Garden Cottage

Garden Cottage in September

A few years ago I made my way back to see Graham Bell at Garden Cottage (the oldest intentional food forest in the UK). I’d met Graham once before and made a film then too. You can view it here: Back in the 90’s I’d read his book The Permaculture Garden and had always … Continue reading

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