No. 12

As someone who spent years of my childhood living on the edge of Loch Ard, surrounded by the Forestry Commission, I was particularly touched to be longlisted for a Forestry Commission writing commission earlier this month. In Scotland, the intense evergreen trees were as mysterious as the snow capped Ben (Ben Lomond) that seemed to stoically guard our home from afar. Those trees were dominant. I can still smell them – I can still feel the firm bouncy ground they sheltered and remember that you can’t quite be barefoot as you weave between the neat potent pines. Their world seemed mainly quiet, muffled from the elements, dryer. Any noise presented hope that there might be some wild animal living in the forest – preferably a Scottish wildcat with a litter of chunky kittens who wanted to be friends! The Forestry Commission seemed to contain possibilities of another ordered world, in contrast to the more untamed sheep-dominated landscape at the time. I look forward to learning more about how the Forestry Commission will celebrate their centenary this year.

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