Author: Wild about Spanish, History and the Environment
Freelance writer and Spanish tutor working in Ireland. BSc in Computing and Spanish, Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Economics, Policy and Risk, Diploma in Journalism.
With 16 years experience in Scotland, we are well placed to assist with tourism development.
Whether its diving in deep oceans, sitting out in the sun, walking across peatbog, driving to the ends of the earth in our 4 wheel drives, or over rough ground on our horses, eating or drinking, we should respect God’s creation. The book “
” by Rachel Carson is a frightening reminder about what happens if we don’t. Her portrayal of the overuse of chemicals on the land results in there being no birds in the sky, no plants and flowers, no bees pollinating and most of all trees did not bear fruit. Trees are the lungs of the earth. Another early environmentalist, Charles Darwin, in the
Origin of the Species
, wrote of the planet and the plants, spending many years in the Galapagos islands collecting samples and analysing them. To this day, the Galapagos islands are teeming with wildlife and protected by man.
It is the exponential growth of the population which is the problem, using precious resources, many of which are not renewable. When we walk on God’s earth we should respect the plants we walk on, take care in sensitive soils like peat – sundew, golden in the sun, is delicate. The bogs are delicate, having taken hundreds if not thousands of years to develop. The birds bring us delight with their song. The Reverend Cairns described the earth as a “precious heirloom”.
70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. The aquatic zone produces about 40% of total global net primary productivity. The terrestrial zone, although accounting for only 30% of the surface area, accounts for about 60% of total primary productivity. (Source: Natural Resources and Environmental Economics, Roger Perman, Yue Ma, James McGilvray, Michael Common, Pearson Education ISBN 0-273-65559-0). While this is important to the basics of economic growth, we should leave only footprints as we travel through life. Whether you believe in God or are sceptical, someone bigger than us created the earth. Who was it, God or the solar system? Either way, we need the earth to sustain us. We need to protect it.
We started promoting Dunnet Head as place of environmental interest way back in 2000. We even wrote a book about it. With the Dunnet Head web site about to be sold off, we use www.letsgoexploring.co.uk as our conduit for exploring many parts of the world.
Using people’s skills and experience for free is not an option. People have to live. The Scots do not understand economics and want everything free of charge. Public services are the worst offenders. Nor to they care about the environment, and are planning on putting a rocket on peatbog. This is not acceptable.
This is what happens when you do have experience and qualifications in Scotland.
This blog is all about doing things the “right” way without trying to steal other peoples‘ ideas and expertise. We do cooperate with the public services, even if they don’t cooperate with us.
See below from Ms Grech when we asked about the increase in road maintenance costs due to NC500.
Dear Ms Grech
Thank you for this, however it is disappointing that there are no figures about pre and post maintenance costs. Perhaps this is something THC might like to consider in the future. As traffic builds up also because of the North Highland Way, it is a genuine concern. Although people will be walking, cycling and horse riding the walkers will need transport to some places, as will the cyclists. The horse riders will need parking for their boxes as we move forward. I know that THC are behind this project, but Mr. Barron is quite correct not to commit further funds until he knows that the project will go ahead in its entirety. I have received a letter of support from the Scottish Government and the priorities are to push the NHW up the agenda in Holyrood as well as Westminster in persuading Michael Gove and Fergus Ewing to allocate funds to the SDRP. If you are interested in this you can contact Malcolm Duce for a copy of the letter.
I will conclude my research project on this phase at the end of November 2018.
The research is now complete but will not be publicly available.
When volunteering, make sure you know all the ins and outs before you start. Do not be made to do something you do not want to do or are not comfortable with. If you join an organisation to do simple tasks, do not be forced to undertake anything more, even if you have the skills. It is volunteering, it is not paid work. There is no code of conduct as to how organisations treat their volunteers. The committees will always be the same, unless someone actually resigns, but often they are not able to as there is no one to take over. Those who would bully and cajole other volunteers are not caring people. Even the strongest of characters can be brought down by bullying and harassment and a constant barrage of abuse. It is the case with one particular organisation in Northern Ireland, the East Antrim University of the Third Age. Their terms conditions of membership state that they should “treat others with respect”. There is no respect within that organisation. When the victim challenged this, she was removed from the organisation and still they demanded money. The victim is still getting demands to pay their bills. When bullying and harassment didn’t work, they started giving out the victim’s private and personal address so that their solicitors could bully and harass her as well. Once reported to the Charities Commission of Northern Ireland, that should stop but it doesn’t.
The Charities Commission of Northern Ireland stood by and did nothing, despite all the proof in the world that the organisation had in fact tried to take members’ money, did not adhere to the rules of the charitable sector, never tell the members anything, even about a major investment like the sunroom which the members will have to pay for. The Information Commission also stood by and watched, regardless of GDPR. Ditto the Third Age Trust. They told the victim that she had “broken the Members Code of Conduct” yet they would not tell her which rules she had broken. The Third Age Trust in London said they would investigate, and then said it was not an investigation. They said that they hoped the victim would volunteer again one day. She won’t. Except for horse charities. Horses don’t judge or try to take your money. They do not bully.
The victim has volunteered for four organisations since she has been in Northern Ireland and only had one positive experience, that with the Riding for the Disabled in Ballyclare. The girls at the RDA at Moy will not now get the benefit of the victim’s experience and love of horses, thanks to the East Antrim University of the Third Age. Nor will any other voluntary organisation in Northern Ireland. Perhaps experiences with Bransby Horses in England will be different. The signs are that they will.
If this environment is allowed to continue in society, no one will volunteer for anything. The victim will certainly advise against it, unless you are 100% sure the organisation are a bone fide charity and not a business. The East Antrim University of the Third Age is a business. They pay staff to teach, they charge for courses, they have their own premises yet it is not declared on the Annual Return to the Charities Commission. Members are forced to pay for everything so that the building can be maintained and the value of it increase for the benefit of the organisation in which it is registered, yet no one knows which. Some members are paid when it goes against the ethos of the organisation. If they don’t like you or if you challenge them, you won’t get paid even if your counter part teaching the same thing does. Not so with the Upper Bann University of the Third Age. They are above reproach but the victim is not allowed to be a member as she has allegedly broken the “Members Code of Conduct”. There is no proof. There is just a stone wall. As a journalist, the victim will be investigating further and writing about this in relevant magazines and journals