The Tin Forest


Dear Glasgow report: The Environment

On 31 July 2014, as part of The Tin Forest festival, the people of Glasgow were invited to attend Dear Glasgow. Here they were asked to discuss the burning issues in their city. The discussion groups were set by the participants themselves; Tolerance and Multiculturalism, Gender Inequality, Children and Young People, Work, the Independence Referendum, the Environment and Mental Health.

Here’s what the Environment Group discussed…

All the opinions expressed here are those of participants of Dear Glasgow and not necessarily those of the National Theatre of Scotland or its partners.

Action points

  • Environmental education
    • Create understanding what the environment actually is. And how it underpins our lives.
    • Safer cycling and help to those who want to develop confidence in cycling.
    • Grow, cook, eat and distribute your own food.
    • Increase awareness of climate change.
    • Rejuvenate disused and abandoned areas. Help existing parks to promote wildlife.
    • An increased democracy and more political engagement with members of the public.
    • Financial incentives for environmentally friendly actions or financial penalties for failing to do so.
    • Create community groups to empower neighbourhoods invested in addressing environmental issues.

Contributor’s quotes from the discussion

Hopes and dreams?

“Environment is huge!”

“Fracking? The basics…As far was we understand, fracking is when there is gas underground… lots of tiny pockets…. drill a hole… pump water at high pressure with chemicals…. makes cracks in rock!… fragments then which releases gas which than can be captured.”

“This can contaminate water supplies! Lots of nasty sand…”

“Explosions disturb the stability of the Earth’s crust. Bad long term effects.”

“Fracking has only just been invented! Who knows what’s going to happen?”

“In terms of climate change… the fact is, if we were to assume it was safe…. even if we take all the gas and use it, burn it….. there are other detrimental effects on the environment.”

“What is in the ground should stay in the ground.”

“Or cut down on our energy use!”

“Fracking is cheaper than using a mine.”

“Technology exploiting natural gasses?”

What do we mean by the environment?


“Covers growth distribution, free school dinners, impact of food on young children.”

“Passionate about Glasgow setting example on food policy.”

“Hope is that Scottish Government has a positive influence in this area”

“Encouraging school to grow own food?  It is happening… but it needs to happen more?”

“Policy sometimes makes inequality larger, because disadvantaged fall through the holes…”

“Policy that addresses culture, as in the things we do everyday…. The culture of poverty.”

“A place to call your own. To grow own food.  For your health, for your mental health.”

“Glasgow tenements that have common areas… all too often… those areas are dilapidated… or abandoned… or filled in with concrete such a waste of space.”

“People should hold summer fetes!”

“Really interesting social space to share!”

“I’d love to know my neighbours!”

“We have a grassy bit out the front…. Nearly every second day a dog poos there!”

“My child can’t play there.”

“The council do nothing…”

“I put up my own sign saying that it’s dangerous to children… it’s got a little bit better.”

“Even if there was a community pot fund… to help out with things like that…”

“Individuals trying to help should be supported!”

“Glasgow realises its potential… the commonwealth effort should not stop after the games!!”

“It’s a great city already, but it could be an amazing city.”

“Loads of trees cut down for Commonwealth Games”

“Rejuvenating disused spaces all year round would benefit the tourism industry!”

“When I clean my bike… there is so much grime and dirt…. I don’t want all of that going into my lungs.”

“Special bike routes like in Amsterdam, over the disused tram rails.”

“My dream is that everyone should be entitled to their own green space!!”

“Providing more opportunities for people to grow their own food.”

“Allotments… a lot of the land has been sold off for money, because they’re too expensive to hold up.”

“Making use of the land nearest to the communities that want to use them, instead of having to travel half way across the city to designated gardening areas.”

“I hope for more environmental education, people need to learn why the environment is actually important. People don’t understand climate change.”

“Rent a car schemes private company, cutting down on car use?”

“We like the bikes! We hope to see more in the future!”


Possible solutions…

“We need increased democracy.”

“What we need is more political engagement with members of the public.”

“We need financial incentives.”

“Financial penalties for not recycling?”

“You can get hydroponic walls, plant life in the fabric of buildings, and aquaponics which uses fish tanks and fish poo to fertilise plant growth.”



“Capitalism and the current economic model… because everything is about profit.”

“People might see environmental issues as a hassle when in reality it’s a big part of the way we live.”

“Developing as a modern society, but still having an awareness of our history, and how that might inform our environmental impact.”

“Nostalgia! The inability to move past a certain way of thinking and acting into an environmentally aware twenty-first century.”

“Ignorance! Not enough education on the topic.”

“The weather! The best way to learn is to just get out there and experience the environment, and sometimes the weather might make people less likely to take part.”

“Clothing and fashion, having the proper clothing to engage with environmental education.”

“Waiting lists for allotments are mad!  Too long….”oh you’ll maybe get something””

“Lack of resources!”

“How difficult it is to recycle in Glasgow!  In some places (London) you get fined if you don’t recycle… could this work in Glasgow? Recycling should be a way of life”

“People don’t realise how many landfills there are and the effects that they’re having.”

“There is a way that people are going to have to start living their lives, people don’t realise the repercussions. Are we all going to be underwater in a few hundred years?”

“All new buildings have to have at least one space for a car! An example of how things are moving in the wrong direction.”

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