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PLANT Voices

PLANT Voices

By PLANT Voices

A podcast from Tayport Community Garden where we tell local stories about gardening, food, nature and climate change.

For more about PLANT (People Learning About Nature in Tayport) see or find us on Facebook @plantgroup.
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Motivated by love – COP26 climate countdown

PLANT VoicesSep 02, 2021

Motivated by love – COP26 climate countdown

Motivated by love – COP26 climate countdown

This month brought pretty depressing climate news. The  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has brought out its report,  reviewing all the available science on the state of the climate. The  message was clearer than ever – we are in big trouble and we need to  take radical action, fast. It’s code red for humanity.

This time it does not feel like just a theoretical scientific  argument – we are starting to see the evidence of the change around us.  Who can forget the footage from Australia, California or Greece which  have also been in the headlines over the last few years? Or the recent  droughts and floods in Fife.

The IPCC’s message comes just in time to inform COP26 meeting taking  place in Glasgow. This conference of parties, is the 26th of the  international government summits where almost every country on earth  come together to agree on steps to take to tackle climate emergency.  Many believe this event is the world’s best last chance to get runaway  climate change under control.

This is some big stuff to deal with!

How do you tackle such reality as a parent – especially with young  children? How do you teach them about what’s coming? How do you remain  sane? Today I talk to two amazing mums, Anya from Big Dreams, Little Footprints and Jo from Wild Planet Explorers.  We explore their own journeys to sane parenting in the era of climate  emergency and share fab ideas for things every family can do as an  antidote to the barrage of the climate news. They tell us all about  their collaborative project – COP26 Climate Countdown – and how you can get involved.

Interviews, production and editing: Kaska Hempel

For the full list of resources see PLANT blog:

Sep 02, 202143:38
Tayport Community Fridge - tackling food waste one elephant at a time

Tayport Community Fridge - tackling food waste one elephant at a time

Interviews, production and editing: Kaska Hempel

In 2018 the UK threw away 9.5 million tonnes of food worth £13 billion. And that’s after it had left the farm gates. That’s such an incredible waste, which could have gone to feed many, many more people. Wasting so much food also feeds climate change. Globally, around a third of all food produced is lost or wasted, which contributes up to 10 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, it would have the third-biggest carbon footprint after the USA and China. It produces more emissions than all commercial flights.

Well today, we visit Tayport’s community fridge, which is helping to save and redistribute some of this perfectly good food locally, and which would otherwise end up in landfill. Thanks to many such initiatives across the country, food waste has already significantly reduced in the UK since 2007.

Kaska talks to The Larick Centre’s Rosie Coutts and Fife Council’s Iain Anderson about the nitty gritty of how this partnership started last year, how the project has developed so far and where it’s going next. You also hear about the experiences of the fridge volunteers and a few of what appear to be very satisfied users.

While projects such as community fridge are a great way of redistributing excess food from the retail sector, we have to remember the sector is only responsible for 3% of the total food wasted in the UK. Majority of the waste, a horrific 70%, happens in our homes! You can get some tips on avoiding this and saving a fair amount of money in the process on the Love Food, Hate Waste website.


Jul 20, 202137:42
Storytelling in the Garden with Owen Pilgrim

Storytelling in the Garden with Owen Pilgrim

With the start of the holidays we bring you creative inspiration for the summer -  full of planet friendly tales for the whole family. The episode was recorded at the Storytelling in the Garden which took place last Saturday at our Tayport Community Garden. It was one of the events we are putting on this year as a part of Climate Action Fife, Climate Friendly Gardens series to help everyone in Fife get involved in climate action.

Today, I talk to the storyetller we met on the day, Owen Pilgrim, about his passion for sharing tales and myths, and how they can better connect us to each other, ourselves and to the places we live in. We also touch on how we can use them to draw others into taking action on climate change.

We get to hear the story of the village of pots which Owen shared with us during the event - and some ideas on how you can share your very own story of care for the planet with others.


Jun 30, 202151:05
No Mow May - lazy gardening that’s good for the planet

No Mow May - lazy gardening that’s good for the planet

Can keeping our garden lawns a bit longer really make a difference for our precious wildflowers and minibeasts which are disappearing from our wider landscapes? In this episode we are exploring this very question as well as the pleasures of rewilding our green spaces. Partners in Fife’s Climate Friendly Garden project talk about why and how they took part in Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign. And Kevin Frediani from Dundee University adds his botanical expertise. You will also hear snippets from our own Tayport Community Garden where we counted our lawn wildflowers for Plantlifes Ever Flower Counts last week to learn what effect No Mow May has had there.


  • Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign
  • Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts citizen science project 
  • 2019-2020 results of Every Flower Counts - hinting at the possible impact of future climate change:

Plantlife website:

The Independent article 

Video of Plantlife’s Trevor Dine’s talk

  • Climate Friendly Gardens project 
  • Climate Action Fife’s blog about No Mow May:
  • Recording from Kavin’s talk about rewilding your garden for Dundee Green Health Week May 2021
  • Resources for rewilding Dundee/Tayport on Dundee Botanics page
  • Scotia Seeds 

Jun 01, 202157:23
Slow art from the heart - in conversation with Pinkie Maclure

Slow art from the heart - in conversation with Pinkie Maclure

Since the 1970s, every year on the 22nd of April, people around the world have been taking part in Earth Day to demonstrate their support for protecting life on our planet. So for this month’s episode we have decided to speak to Pinkie Maclure whose unusual art often explores how we humans have been affecting the places we all call home, and her personal responses to modern environmental issues. Before listening you may want to have a look at the pieces we discuss by following links in the episode notes below.

Interview, production and editing: Kaska Hempel


Pinkie’s pieces discussed in the episode:

You can find Pinkie’s art at: 

Follow her on Instagram:

Video showing her studio and technique:

Kathleen’s blog post about Earth Day: 

Solastalgia explained on Climate Psychology Alliance website:  


Apr 27, 202143:55
Music for the planet - Joanna Stark talks about her Green Nevis Challenge

Music for the planet - Joanna Stark talks about her Green Nevis Challenge

You must have heard by now that COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, is coming to Glasgow in November.

And decisions taken by world leaders at this meeting will determine the future of our planet as they plan their next steps in tackling climate change at a global level. So an incredibly important meeting!

It's no surprise that many people in Scotland are v excited about it and many projects have sprung up to celebrate it and raise awareness of climate emergency and action ahead of this event

Today we hear from a local young musician, Jo Stark,  about one such project - 100 days of green nevis challenge. She’s interviewed by a dynamic duo: regular field reporter Kathleen Gray is joined by Heather Young, who is a Community Education Student from Dundee University on placement with PLANT just now.

Production: Kaska Hempel, Audio editing: John Wills


Mar 26, 202140:36
Tales of love from Tentsmuir

Tales of love from Tentsmuir

As usual this February PLANT have joined the annual show the love campaign by Climate Coalition which encourages everyone to celebrate things we love and want to protect from climate emergency. So we thought it would be fitting that for our podcast this month we should talk about Tentsmuir - everyone’s favourite place here on Tayport’s doorstep.

Hear Kathleen in conversation with Marijke Leith, new Tentsmuir NNR manager and Kaska talking to Tony Wilson, ex-countryside ranger in the area. 


Mar 01, 202152:28
What's it like to be a vegan?

What's it like to be a vegan?

In celebration of Veganuary, Kathleen interviews a couple of locals, Linda and Caley about their vegan diets and lifestyles.

Here are their recommendations for further reading:

Vegan Cookbooks

  • The Scottish Vegan Cook Book by Jackie Jones
  • Easy Vegan by Sue Quinn
  • East - Meera Sodha

Non-vegan cookbooks - easy to veganise

  • Plenty - Yotam Ottelenghi (Vegetarian)
  • Taste of India - Meera Sodha
  • Fresh India - Meera Sodha

Vegan Blogs

Jan 31, 202137:04
Kiss the Ground movie discussion for World Soil Day

Kiss the Ground movie discussion for World Soil Day

World Soil Day celebrates the importance of our soils for healthy food, flood prevention, tackling climate and biodiversity emergencies. To mark the occasion and find out about how regenerating soils can help us fight climate change, we got together for a discussion of "Kiss the ground" documentary on 26th of November, 2020.  We were joined by three experts who provided local Scottish context to the material covered in the film: 

- Peter Christopher, PLANT Community Gardener and horticulturists with over 30 years gardening experience, talked about how the regenerative methods can be applied at our Tayport Community Garden and in growing food at home.

- Dr Jennifer Brown, a soil expert from Ecological Department of James Hutton Institute, provided a research perspective on how regenerative farming can be applied in Scottish and UK agriculture. 

- David Aglen, Farm manager at Balbirnie farm in Fife spoke from the hand-on farming point of view on using regenerative agriculture methods on his farm.

The discussion was lead by Kaska Hempel from PLANT and Helena Simmons, PLANT Carbon Conversation Facilitator and Community Gardener at the Ninewells Community Garden, and we were joined by over 30 participants from Fife, Dundee and beyond.

This is an edited recording from the discussion on Zoom. Apologies for the variable sound quality - this was due to connection problems with a couple of the particpants. 

Dec 04, 202046:14
Drawing a line in the sand - a conversation with a young eco-activist, Lea Weimann
Nov 18, 202026:29
Nature under lockdown PART 2: Listening to nature
Oct 27, 202027:53
Nature under lockdown Part 1 - Backyard Bioblitz
Sep 24, 202017:20
Marvellous Meadows of Tayport

Marvellous Meadows of Tayport

Just how many pollinators can you find on one wild carrot flower? And what exactly is a pollinator? Listen to find out!

In this podcast episode, Kaska and Johanna Willi, Fife Council's Biodiversity Officier, marvel at the flowers, bugs and beasties which can be found in Tayport’s wildflower meadows established by Fife’s Buzzing project. PLANT volunteers turned out in force to do the sowing and planting in the Spring of 2016. We hear about the extraordinary benefits of this project for protection of these rapidly vanishing natural spaces locally and how it’s already helped our precious pollinator dwellers. Tips on how to make home for pollinators in your own backyard are also included.

Project team was careful to involve Tayport community in selecting the meadow sites, they held consultation 'drop-in' event with the Community Council, and also consulted park users in the Common.

Fife’s Buzzing was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Fife Environment Trust. Partners in the project included Fife Council and Buglife Scotland.

Land owners involved ac included The Woodland Trust Scotland, Fife Golf Trust, St Andrews Botanic Garden, CommScope, Dalbeath farm, Fife Council.


Exploring pollinators – backyard science:

Ideas on how to support pollinators in your garden:

- Buglife Make a Mini Meadow:

- Buglife How to make a community meadow:

- RHS plants for pollinators (many ornamental plants included):

- Wildlife gardening tips from Wildlife Trusts:

- Garden for life leaflets (Scotland):

Apr 17, 202023:27
Marsh Mysteries - Revealed!
Mar 26, 202020:35
The fantastic and tasty Tayport Apple Juice
Feb 17, 202017:04
Fruit Tree Walk - food for people and for nature

Fruit Tree Walk - food for people and for nature

In this episode, Kaska interviews Janice who is a volunteer coordinating maintenance of Tayport's very own public community orchard. Fruit Tree Walk is based at Scotscraig drive and it's fruit available for everyone to pick. We touch on the walk's history, giving home to nature and preserving the amazing biodiversity of Scottish apple varieties. 

Peter, PLANT's community gardener, will be running a winter apple tree pruning workshop at the Walk on 1st March, 1-3pm. See our events page for details:

There is also more information about the fruit tree walk and how to get involved on our website here:  

This episode will be a part of an audio tour of Tayport's green spaces we are planning to launch at the end of March, at the Larick Centre opening weekend. 

Thank you to John Wills for help with editing of this episode.

Feb 03, 202011:26
Climate and cake - a recipe for saving the planet

Climate and cake - a recipe for saving the planet

This story was included in a multimedia exhibition Climate Reflections: Human Stories of Hope and Fear. A five-day multi-media exhibition, from 18-22 November, brought together podcasts created as part of the Scottish Communities Climate Action Network‘s Future Voices project, and photography and video from the Environmental Justice Foundation‘s No Place to Call Home exhibition, first shown at the National Theatre in London. 

Tayport Community Garden Carbon Conversations is a project which aims to help local residents reduce their household carbon footprints by coming together for a series of 5 small group workshops. The project has been a big success with people finding the process challenging, but also enjoyable and helpful in taking significant steps towards lower carbon lifestyles together. The project is delivered by PLANT group of Tayport Community Trust and funded by Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund. This story shares a discussion among some of the past Carbon Conversation group members sharing thoughts on their experiences. Find out more:

Nov 21, 201909:43
Bats are cool!

Bats are cool!

In this Halloween episode, Kaska chats with a local bat man, David Martin, about eavesdropping on bats at Tayport Community Garden. Find out why they are cool, what they sound like, and how we can make them feel more at home in Tayport gardens.
Oct 31, 201810:33