We take great joy each year in celebrating the turn of the seasons and the changes we see in the natural world. It’s a chance to take stock of our connection with the environment, to remember the myths and stories it has inspired, and to really reflect on the nourishment that it provides us with. Even in our hyper-fast and increasingly digital world, our lives are still at root ruled by the sun, the rain, and the land we walk on.
That’s why it’s so important for us to turn our words into action. We are living through a climate emergency, and it will require all of us to pitch in and take better care of our world.
This year we made a commitment to donate £1,000 to environmental charities from the money raised by Samhuinn Fire Festival, and we want to thank everyone who helped us fulfil that pledge. Every ticket bought by you brought us a little closer to raising our target, and we are pleased to now be able to share with you how we chose to spend the money.
Thanks to funding from Creative Carbon Scotland, we’ve been able to hold two meetings within our community where we discussed how we can make our festivals greener and have a wider positive impact on the environment. The following charities were chosen by our members at these two meetings:
Tree Time Edinburgh
Donation – £150
Many of Edinburgh’s trees were planted in Victorian times, so they are now reaching old age and starting to decline all at the same time. It’s been estimated that we need to be planting 6,500 trees a year to make up for the ones we are about to lose, and Tree Time Edinburgh is helping to initiate that push.
Visit their website to read more about why we need to begin replanting our parks and streets.
Scottish Wildlife Trust
Donation – £250
Through conservation projects, education, and engagement with the public, the Scottish Wildlife Trust campaigns to protect Scotland’s wildlife and undo the decline in biodiversity that human activity has caused. Our unrestricted donation will help them send money where it is needed most, and they’ve given us this breakdown of how the money could be spent:
- £26 – could buy wood used to install nest boxes for songbirds
- £42 – could pay for seeds to help reestablish the wild habitats needed to support our native wildlife
- £75 – could pay for a drain to divert waste underneath paths on our reserves and prevent flooding
- £112 – could pay for preparing the ground for planting 150 saplings
- £250 – could unlock £2,500 of grant funding to support projects on our reserves. Grants often require additional funds to unlock them (usually an extra 10%).
Read more about the essential work that the Scottish Wildlife Trust is undertaking to preserve our landscape on their website.
Marine Conservation Society
Donation – £250
Pollution, rubbish, and overfishing are all putting a massive strain on our planet’s seas and oceans, which the Marine Conservation Society is working to reverse. By promoting a healthier relationship with our environment and better educating ourselves on sustainable living, we can relieve some of the pressure that humanity has caused to marine life.
Our gift to the Marine Conservation Society could:
- Cover the cost of safety equipment for a group of 10 people running a beach clean
- Promote sustainable seafood to 5,000 people through the Good Fish Guide
- Help deliver education programme to school children
- Support one of the charity’s Seasearch dives off the Scottish coast, collecting vital data on sensitive marine habitats
Learn more about the Marine Conservation Society’s campaigns on their website.
Trees for Life
Donation – £352
Thousands of years ago Scotland was covered in a thick and sprawling forest, which housed impressive creatures like wolves, lynxes, and the Scottish wildcat. In the 1950s, just 1% of that ancient forest was left.
Over the coming months, 43 trees will be planted in our name as part of Trees for Life’s efforts to rewild the landscape. There will be a healthy mixture of native species, like Scots pine, oak, hazel, rowan or birch, and none of them will ever be cut down for timbre.
Beltane Fire Grove is our thanks to our community of volunteers, whose hard work and passion has been the fuel behind our festivals all of these years. Our grove will be unmarked but once it is planted we will be able to give a grid reference, so members of our community can pay it a visit and stroll between the saplings.
Read more about the Beltane Fire Grove on the Trees for Life website.
Featured image by Gordon Veitch for Beltane Fire Society. All rights reserved.