Skye women to host “emergency” climate change meeting in Portree

Climate change group members Lysana Robinson, Dorothy Jackson, Pat McNicol, Anne MacLennan and Trish Rogers met with the Free Press at the Growers Hub in Broadford to discuss their plans to make a difference locally.

Five women from the south of Skye are looking to bring about positive change to benefit the environment by hosting a climate change ’emergency meeting’ in Portree next week.

The move follows on from the Scottish Government’s Big Climate Conversation event in Portree on 6th August. The ladies, who were already interested in the issues raised, said their desire to act was further strengthened by the meeting.

Speaking to the Free Press at the Broadford Growers Hub last week, Anne MacLennan, Dorothy Jackson, Lysana Robinson, Pat McNicol, and Trish Rogers outlined why they felt action was required and what they hoped to achieve by holding the meeting.

Dorothy Jackson from Tokavaig said “I have been working on environmental campaigns and I think climate change is the big one that I want to do my best on personally, as well as working upwards to try to get more government action.

“This all originated from the Government’s Big Climate Conversation meeting in Portree at which there were about 70 people who had never acted on climate before. Now we know some of those people so we can get together again and join forces.”

Pat McNicol who lives in Broadford said that after hearing about the local group ‘Broadford plastic free and beyond’ she started to gather all the plastic from her weekly shop and was “horrified” at the volume of plastic which was going to landfill.

She said: “As individuals, we can do something, and then if we are a group of people acting collectively we can make changes.”

Anne MacLennan from Lower Breakish commented: “I was in New Zealand for 20 years and was a climate activist there. I was heartened that the Government was doing the workshops – we need government action but they also need to know that there’s action from the bottom upwards.”

Ardvasar resident Lysana Robinson said: “My father taught rural science and environmental studies, so I was the one in the greenhouse.

“I have been an environmental activist for many years, I do moth trapping because it tells you more about the environment than looking at the flora because when things go wrong the population is decimated.”

Trish Rogers from Broadford said: “I agree with Dorothy that climate change is the big one and I’ll do everything I can to get people involved.”

Addressing what measures people could take to make a difference, she added: “There are things such as the circular economy, where people can recycle to avoid throwing things away.”

She also went on to highlight the benefit of local and seasonal food, energy-efficient heating, and transport efficiency options like using public transport, car-sharing and cycling.

Touching on the upcoming meeting, Ms Jackson said: “We will share some of the things that are already happening – there will be brief presentations. Then the idea is for people to go into local groups and talk about what they can do locally.

“We will then have a picture of who is interested in doing what and come up with possibilities for people to link up and then we will try and work out where we can go from there. But it will very much be practical.

She added: “It’s about keeping in touch and communicating and empowering and inspiring people to get going.”

The climate change meeting will be held in Tigh na Sgire in Portree on Tuesday 3rd September from 5.30pm.

Article and image by Adam Gordon