Good morning, a shot of strong coffee and some noisy music might just get me going. It’s cold enough to make my dog look at me as if to say “you try taking a piss out there” this morning to which I replied “you’ve got no choice”.
A short post today and one that was inspired by yesterday’s musing about how can we help build some momentum for London to recognise The Clash in an official way. Andrea pointed out we already have Rebel’s Wood up at the tip of the Isle of Skye off of the coast of mainland Scotland and I realised after posting a photo on Facebook that a fair few people weren’t familiar with it. So let’s share it again, I l know I’ve covered it briefly on the blog years ago but I don’t expect you to have read every single post (yes I do).
On the Isle of Skye a few miles along the coastal path from Orbost land was dedicated by Future Forests in the name of Joe Strummer and christened Rebel’s Wood. It is rugged and beautiful coastline and not coincidentally very near to the origins of his mother’s side of the family. Future Forests endorsed something near to Joe’s heart – forward thinking efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by regenerating forestland throughout the world, the organization doesn’t exist under the original name any longer but have expanded greatly and do continue their work having changed their name to The Carbon Neutral Company during the last decade. That company continue an assertive forest development program which you can read about here, their efforts and ideas continue to prosper as they work in over 40 countries around the world.
Click on any photo to open the gallery (images courtesy; http://www.flickr.com/photos/mixmage/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/byannika/)
Joe Strummer was friends with Sue Welland and Dan Morrell who founded the company and helped them with ideas back in 1996 before launching Future Forests in 1997. The designated area in Joe’s name were launched in (I think) 1998 but I could be wrong, with the sign being added after he passed away. I did find this lovely excerpt below from Druid’s Network which explains more, you’ll probably remember Joe being very sincere that his CDs were the first carbon neutral ones when Rock Art and the X-Ray Style was released.
It was backstage at Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, in the summer of 1996, that the spark which inspired Future Forests into creation was first lit. Joe Strummer, legendary hero of the old punk band The Clash, was thinking aloud … “Bands must be contributing to global warming by their buses, equipment trucks and the diesel used to power the stages. Can you imagine how much CO2 the pressing and the distribution of a CD creates? What shall we do about it?” It was his friend, Dan Morrell who came up with the clear idea that planting trees to re-absorb this harmful carbon dioxide was not only the answer, but it was possible, and necessary.
Joe decided that he would have his own forest planted to offset the emissions from his CDs and became the world’s first ‘Carbon Neutral artist’. He then put Future Forests in touch with many other people in the industry. With the credibility and blessing of such a great power as Joe Strummer, Future Forests was able to get support from the most credible artists in the music community including Pink Floyd, Coldplay (whoops!), Pulp, Beth Orton, Feeder, Foo Fighters, David Grey, Massive Attack and Mel C. The whole of Future Forests, then, is in many ways a legacy of the great creative mind of Joe Strummer.
There aren’t photos of huge pine trees in Rebel’s Wood yet of course, these start as saplings, but one of these days I vow to make it there by which time I’m sure an impressive wood will have grown in tribute to Joe’s work. I’ll do a Clash Landmarks feature on this when I have more time with full travel details, bed & breakfast guides and such.
If you’ve ever been and would like to share your memories please do so, I know people would love to hear them.