Arran duo pick up climate hero awards

Gerard Tattersfield, left, is pictured with other recipients of the Climate Hero award and with environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham, centre.

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Gerard Tattersfield and Gregor McKelvie both won Climate Hero awards for their outstanding voluntary support of Eco Savvy’s Sustainable Island Life Project.

They picked up their awards at the Scottish government Climate Challenge Fund annual gathering held recently at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth where environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham was the keynote speaker.

Arran Eco Savvy project manager Jude King and energy auditor Charlotte Mann were invited to speak at the gathering and gave a presentation on energy efficiency and the Arran Eco Savvy Energy Challenge Project and the mini-movement of domestic renewables in the Arran community.

Gregor received his award for his loyal support of the Co-op food share initiative. He has been the key volunteer for Brodick food share and has been integral in diverting a total of one tonne of surplus Co-op food from landfill.

He said: ‘The overwhelming outcome is that everyone – whether they come to the Food Share or just in conversation – is very keen to reduce waste. Food waste and packaging are the two biggest frustrations for people. The Eco Savvy and food bank food share has certainly increased awareness of the issues for me personally and the people attending the food share and the island as a whole.’

Gerard received the award for his support for the sustainable travel and transport strand of the project where he helped set up the Arran eBike scheme which has proved to be popular with 80 residents taking part in the trials to minimise and eliminate car dependency and use.

In addition to receiving the award Gerard was also invited to take part in an informal chat show style discussion where he spoke about his appreciation of eBikes.

Gerard told the audience: ‘My whole life has been about cycling so I’m enthusiastic about it but I’m really enthusiastic about eBikes too. People look at me a bit strange when a cyclist gets enthusiastic about electric bikes but the more I get involved with them, the more I realise it’s the future.

‘Being able to enthuse about something that everyone else can actually use is something I enjoy and I don’t see it as work or volunteering. I see it as inspiring people about riding bikes, and being able to do this with a nice new fleet of electric bikes that Arran Eco Savvy managed to get through the funding is fantastic. Enthusiasm really is the most important aspect, as well as a bit of knowledge and experience on how to set it up but as soon as people go up the first hill on an eBike, they smile!’

Jude said after the event: ‘ All in all it was an exciting but somewhat daunting event for us to be a part of. There is so much that is being done by individuals, community groups and organisations across Scotland, but so much more that needs to be done if we acknowledge the stark reality of the climate crisis; what it could mean for us if we don’t act, and the devastating meaning it already has in areas experiencing extreme climate impacts across the world.

‘We are doing what we can here on Arran on a community level, but many agree Government action, legislation and policy needs to be reflective of the climate crisis declared not so long ago.’

Gerard Tattersfield, left, is pictured with other recipients of the Climate Hero award and with environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham, centre. No_B47eco01

Talking about his love of cycling, Gerard Tattersfield took part in a discussion with a panel of like minded people. No_B47eco02

Eco Savvy’s Jude King and Charlotte Mann engage in a discussion during the Scottish Government Climate Challenge Fund gathering. No_B47eco03

Jude King addresses the audience and explains some detail about the Arran Eco Savvy Energy Challenge Project. No_B47eco04