In 2008, Virgin Books/Random House published Paper Trails: From Trees to Trash - the True Cost of Paper, a non-fiction book about where all the paper we use comes from.
Paper Trails was written after Bill and I did a huge journey, overland from Scotland, through Europe, Russia, China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, USA and Canada, to see where all the paper we use is made, its history and future, and what impact it is having on forests and their people.
This is now out of print, though ebooks still seem to be available. I am working on getting it back out into the world. It is based on twenty years of my life as a forest activist, particularly focused on trying to stop the paper industry from destroying the world's forests. I worked as the international co-ordinator for the Environmental Paper Network from 2005 until I returned to academia in 2018.
Several hand-crafted booklets of nature writing, called Earth Wondering are available in the shop. These are the result of a daily practice of going out into nature, finding something that stops me in my tracks with wonder, then letting my mind explore around until I find a question or something worth wondering about. The results are brief, questioning, hopefully thought-provoking, sometimes poetic. They're accompanied by beautiful images by Bill Ritchie.
I just love writing book reviews. Here are some of them.
- Evergreen Ash by Christopher Abram.
- Black Cart by Jim Carruth and The Nature of Winter by Jim Crumley
- A interesting mixture of poetry books.
I have written lots of feature-length profiles of north Scottish creative people. A recent one was about Helen Denerley, sculpter, in the wonderful new Art North Magazine. Many of these were in Northings magazine, the ezine of Hi-Arts, which is sadly defunct, including pieces about about Fergus Stewart, potter; Helen Lockhart, wool dyer; Barbara Macleod, jewellery maker; James Graham, singer and James Hawkins, painter. I wrote this feature about Fergus Stewart in the January 2011 issue of Ceramic Review.
I have written for Resurgence Magazine, The Ecologist, Pulp and Paper International and the magazines and newsletters for lots of organisations including the RSPB, Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Greenpeace, WWF, Reforesting Scotland etc. These are mostly about forestry, woodland, tree or paper issues.
I have written and helped to co-ordinate teams to write visions, plans, funding applications, leaflets and reports for various organisations including the Environmental Paper Network, The Woodland Trust, Assynt Foundation and Culag Community Woodland Trust. For several years I was part of a team at the Centre for International Forestry Research, working on Adaptive Collaborative Management of forests. I helped to design software, visioning and planning methods and wrote models, research papers and user guides, some of which are here.