Over the last month, the Glasgow team have been running a series of webinars looking at how nature can help us cope with ecological and environmental crises from Glasgow to Globe. We focused on one topic per week: overheating, food security, flooding, and building climate-ready cities. If you missed the live webinars, recordings for each (including Q&A) are available on Vimeo.
In our first webinar we heard from South Seeds’ Lucy Gillie on urban trees and how they combat overheating by absorbing greenhouse gases and providing local cooling through shade and evaporation from their leaves. Our next speaker was Julie Stoneman from PlantLife, who discussed the Scottish Rainforest and its importance for local wildlife, people, and climate. Finally, we heard a global perspective from Josiane Segar of Rewilding Europe and iDiv, who spoke about our attitudes towards rewilding and how restoring wilder ecosystems can lessen the effects of climate change.
For our food security week, we spoke to permaculturist Graham Bell and Sustainable Food Trust founder Patrick Holden. Agriculture as a sector is a major producer of greenhouse gases and as our climate changes many of our practices will have to change to meet new conditions. Graham talked us through permaculture principles and how taking a more holistic approach to food production can lead to more resilient and adaptable agriculture, with examples from his own abundant garden in the Scottish Borders. Patrick’s talk focused on larger scale agriculture, and how we can improve practices at larger scales to produce more, better food with less cost to the planet.
In week three we discussed flooding, which is presenting an ever-greater threat to so much of the world as shifting rainfall patterns and rising sea levels threaten communities across the world. The Beaver Trust’s Rob Needham talked us through the many benefits that beavers provide to local and regional water management, wildlife, and carbon storage. From a more industrial perspective, David Ramsbottom from HR Wallingford explained the natural flood management systems he put in place to protect communities in Oxfordshire.
Our final webinar focused on how we can make our cities more resilient to climate. Strathclyde University's Cameron Mackay showed us how they are planning to redevelop their campus to lighten its environmental impacts while creating a community space to connect with nature. Following this institutional perspective with a grassroots one, Urban Roots’ Gemma Jennings gave a virtual tour of Malls Mire Community Woodland in Toryglen, Glasgow. Sites such as this diverse Local Nature Reserve with ponds, SUDS (to prevent flooding), forest, meadow, allotments, campfires, and a brilliant new park are essential to connect people with nature and provide vital resilience to extreme weather as well as refuge for wildlife in our growing cities.
As well as these webinars, we’ve hosted walks and practical volunteering around Glasgow. The Glasgow to Globe project has been leading towards our greenspace at the Botanic Gardens, which is opening on the 15th of October, come and say hi! For all of the recordings, as well as our Wild Webinars series from earlier in the year, please check out our Vimeo page.
very well presented!
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