Animal magic (and plenty more besides)

Maya the tapir.jpg

Right side of brain, left side of brain, possibly a bit of both … who knows? What’s certain is that it’s been an eclectic last couple of weeks with some very different writing projects.

First up was a feature celebrating the 21st anniversary of the John Muir Award for the autumn edition of the John Muir Trust’s Journal.  An environmental scheme that has grown from a pilot project in Scotland to something that has touched hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and walks of life across the UK, the Award is something that the Trust is rightly very proud of.

Next was media work for the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles, including press coverage on 3hattrio, a fabulously different band that had come over from Utah – who knew Americana, chamber music and jazz worked together? – plus the launch of the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival’s 2018 Outdoor Shorts competition. Always a fun competition, it’s an opportunity for amateur adventure film-makers to show what they can do.

It was then back to the world of conservation with an article on sustainable management of inshore fisheries for Scottish Wildlife, the membership magazine of the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Due to appear in the autumn edition of the magazine, the piece explores the disconnect between the economics of maintaining a productive inshore fishing industry in Scotland and the long-term health of the marine environment on which it depends. The article had to tread a delicate path as it’s fair to say that there are some contrasting views on how inshore fishing should be managed, not least within the industry itself.

And next up is another conservation piece, this time looking at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s major contribution to the European Endangered Species Programme – an effort to help safeguard the genetic diversity of a whole range of vulnerable species. It sounds heavier than it is … after all, anything that includes writing about the cutey at the top of this post can’t be that hard going. Look out for the feature in the next edition of RZSS’s LifeLinks magazine!

Photograph: Maya the Malayan tapir calf was born at Edinburgh Zoo in September (credit: RZSS)