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The Nordic future of Scots childcare?

At long last, outdoor nurseries and kindergartens are getting some official encouragement in Scotland. Pioneers like the Secret Garden in Fife and about a dozen others have offered an alternative to indoor early life for over a decade. But now Inspiring Scotland’s been funded by the Scottish Government to work with eight councils setting up new outdoor play projects. The need to get kids moving and enjoying outdoor activity is urgent. Two years ago, a study of 38 nations ranked Scotland joint last for physical activity, while childhood obesity levels here continue to rise, with a quarter of five-year-olds deemed to be at risk of becoming seriously overweight. So what does the future look like? Maybe a bit like Norwegian kindergarten today – minus the snow. So here’s a sam...Read More

On Thin Ice – is the Arctic safe?

Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant has left Murmansk for its 4700 kms trip to a remote Siberian port – according to Arctic Today. News agencies suggest China is building another 20 floating nuclear rigs. Meanwhile Donald Trump didn’t managed to buy Greenland but he can still wreak Arctic eco-havoc in Alaska. A new 200 kms motorway, a copper mine & oilfield have been proposed in the remote Brooks Range foothills – and it seems there’s little or nothing small, surrounding Arctic states can do about these developments. In 2011, Nordic Horizons organised a Festival of Politics debate about the safety of the High North, after Statoil (now Equinor) announced that its latest North Sea oil discovery (Aldous Major South) was the biggest Norwegian find in 20 year...Read More

If trees grow along Norway’s fjords why not in Highland glens?

It seems some folk are sceptical about how well trees would grow in the Highlands or on the fifth of Scotland’s landmass currently covered with grouse moors. There’s wind and rain and the soil is pretty degraded. So maybe the glens are just too barren for any other land use? On no, they’re not. Watch this excellent presentation including a 6 min video by Scots/Norway expert Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, speaking at the Nordic Horizons event “Nurturing Nature” a few years ago. Then decide if Scotland is ready for a Norwegian-style reforestation programme with a wider variety of species – and a much, much wider variety of landowners. If you’d like to know more, here’s a brilliant article by Rewilding Britain with ...Read More

Danes 1 – Fox News 0

Danes 1 – Fox News 0 – Event Details Sponsored by the Scottish Government Chair: Lesley Riddoch, Writer & Broadcaster Speaker: Dan Jorgensen MP, Danish Parliament Wednesday 30 January 18.00- 20.00 50 George Square Lecture Theatre Edinburgh University What do you expect MPs to do when a rightwing US TV station slags off their country? Well, Danish MP Dan Jorgensen decided not to get angry, but more than even. His Youtube video riposte to Fox News last year got almost forty million views online. Now he’s coming to Edinburgh to tell MSPs and a Nordic Horizons audience about Denmark’s success in appearing at the top of the Unicef Child Wellbeing Index, the UN’s World Happiness Index and lots of other international league tables for so long. What is Denmark doing right, why is C...Read More

Gibson on decentralisation – “This is my personal priority.”

The debate over whether powers should be decentralised in the Highlands came to the fore today, as Caithness Sutherland & Ross MSP, Rob Gibson, declared the return of power to communities his ‘personal priority’. Mr Gibson said that during this, his final term as an MSP, he would do everything he could to bring about greater decentralisation and local control in the Highlands. Mr Gibson made the announcement as he launched a new paper outlining basic arguments for decentralisation, entitled ‘Small Works’. Testing how to publish

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