Coven'ng a 600 square-mile area between Glasgow and Edinburgh. the Central Scotland Forest project is an attempt to put back the woodlands felled during 250 years of industrialisation.

This massive environmental regeneration scheme is intended partly to improve the look ofthe countryside. but organisations like Scottish Enterprise. one of the project's backers. are convinced that in the long run it will encourage the return of lost jobs. For large corporations considering a relocation. environmental quality is an increasingly important consideration.

Projects like 1993‘s M8 motorway art project and Sustrans’ cycle path building programme are already signs of an increasing interest in improving

The lead body in the forest scheme is the Central Scotland Countryside Trust. formed in 1989 with a pledge of twenty years ofScottish Office funding. Next month CSCT releases a strategy document which will re-emphasise its long-term goal of planting woodlands over half the designated area. only an eighth of which is currently covered by

the environment between the two cities.

trees. It will also announce a new

scheme aimed at encouraging farmers

to plant trees rather than leave fields

: lying fallow with EC ‘set aside‘ subsidies.

‘lt‘s not the farmers' fault.‘ says the trust's chief executive Campbell Gemrnell. ‘They were bribed to do the

: wrong thing by agricultural subsidy. We want to encourage them to do

Cash offer turns farmers into foresters

g h . : lip-rooted: Campbell Gemmell looks at out

across the kind of tree-free environment the trust is combatting

something rather than just keeping the

' landscape in a sterile state.’

CSCT has negotiated a ‘locational supplement’. administered jointly by the trust and the Forestry Commission. which will top up existing grants available to farmers who plant trees and make forest management a more attractive option in the area. ‘Woodlands may not make them rich

but it is a more robust form of income than subsidies which may disappear.‘ says Germnell.

The trust is concetrating on planting mixed woodlands. with broadleaf and hardwood trees. rather than the swathes of fast-growing conifers that characterise much of Scotland‘s commercial forests. However over a longer period. if properly managed. these slower growing trees are more valuable. ‘We are planting these trees for our grandchildren‘s benefit. not our own.‘ says Gernmell.

However in the short term. the trust is working on environmental enhancement schemes. intended to bring immediate recreational benefit for people living in the area. One such is the nine-mile Avon Heritage Trail which runs along the River Avon near Linlithgow. Work is also underway on ' reclaiming the Ravenscraig steelworks site from its status as an industrial graveyard. (Eddie Gibb)

The Central Scotland Countryside Trust is always looking for volunteers to

work on enrirmtmental projects. For information on the trust Is work contact Jane MacP/ierson on 0/ 50/ 822015.

Cafe society to go on-line

Edinburgh folks keen to hook up to the Internet will soon have their very own sliproad to the information superhighway, as Scotland’s first Internet cafe powers up for its opening later this month.

Despite legal problems with the owners of the similar Cyberia cafe in London, which prevents the Edinburgh site going on-Iine (ie linking up to the Internet) until April, Iletcafe will open as planned. Until April, Iletcafe will offer customers a range of other computer-related services, including scanning, photocopying, network games and advice.

in cyberspace '

In April the PCs piled up in Iletcafe’s South Clerk Street premises will be fully linked to the Internet, at which

. point the Iletcafe concept should

I really come into its own. With the links in place, customers will be able to drop in for a guided tour of the Internet; set up their own e-mail account enabling them to send and

receive electronic messages world- wide; listen to live Internet

; ‘broadcasts’ and paste up their own

; net ‘pages’ on IIetcafe’s own bustling

Website. In the longer term, it’s hoped a corner of the Internet will be devoted to Edinburgh-related

‘. information with organisations encouraged to post up everything from

gig guides to bus timetables.

The three men heading up the venture - Ian McCarron, Mark Gibbons and Greg McCarroll - will try to ensure

; lletcafe doesn’t become simply a E hang-out for anoraks and computer

buffs, but a place where anyone can drop in to see what cyberspace has to offer. Prices will be flexible, with a basic rate of around £4 an hour for a tour of the net, plus special rates for concessions and group memberships. Netcafe will also be a place to find a decent cup of coffee. ‘We’re not just going to be a provider with a Klix machine,’ says Gibbons. (Ellie Carr)

Netcafe will be at 47a South Clerk

Street, Edinburgh, 667 7244.

Does a week in the life of a supermodel tell us something about ourselves as a nation? The makers of a new fly-on- the-wall documentary series reckon so. with a bottom-line message that says we’ve got a lot in common. Even Kirsty Hume, prancing about New York's catwalks with legs up to her chin. is still a wee lassie from Ayr who misses her dad and Mother’s Pride bread.

The move towards impressionistic. director-led documentaries such as Channel 4's Cutting Edge, which look for truth by observation rather than asking awkward questions, has proved a ratings success. Now BBC Scotland is launching Cracking Stories in an attempt to redress the south of England bias in much of this kind of programming.

‘Somebody needs to hold up a mirror and say this is what you are.’ says the

4 The List 10-23 Feb 1995

Kirsty models for new Iok TV

i Kirsty llume: the supermodel misses home

series’ executive director Stuart Grieg. ‘We're trying to show a slice of life rather than investigating a topical new story. You can‘t write the script before you leave the building -— it‘s interpreting events as they happen.‘


Kirsty Hume‘s story will be the first of the Cracking Stories screened. and its unobtrusive style allows the ninteen- year-old‘s mixed feelings about her career to emerge. Subsequent films include a look at the lives of a non-

league football team. both on and off ' the pitch; the bingo players of

Glasgow‘s Possil Park, and the plight of a group of lonely hearts in the i Highlands. ‘lt‘s harder to make this kind of film in Scotland. because I think people are , much warier.‘ says Grieg. ‘But once i you overcome that barrier you can develop stronger bonds with the people I you want to iilm.‘ If Cracking Stories pulls in a respectable audience. a second series of ; these slices of life looks likely to be : commissioned. (Eddie Gibb) 'I Cracking Stories starts on Wednesday g 15 February at 7.30pm.

I Touching base After the departure of Fifth Estate. a new theatre company has taken up residence at the Netherbow in Edinburgh. Called First Base. it will specialise in devising and producing community-based musicals using amateurs and professionals. and ; running theatre workshops for local 1 people. The first production Awake. i traces the hunger marches in Edinburgh during the 30s. The first public production meeting is on Thursday 16 February at 7.30pm in the Netherbow. Contact Stewart Aitken on (H31 556 9579/2647. l Digesting the figures Cinema ; audiences have increased by 25 per cent over the last five years. with 10 l million visits to the cinema recorded in ' 1994. according to the recently

published Scottish Screen [)ata Digest. The Scottish Film Council‘s first

annual publication gathers together a vast amount of information about

cinema and television production. audiences and funding in Scotland. Details on Ol4l 334 4445.

I Bearing the Brunton Representatives of Musselburgh's Brunton Theatre were meeting with the Scottish Arts Council ' this week in an attempt to reverse SAC's decision to sever the company's grant aid. Justifying the decision. SAC said it felt unable to support three producing companies in Lothian and the Brunton had lost out.

I Ton up As Sweet FM cuts its links with the Glasgow Art School in an attempt to lose the student radio tag. a new Glasgow station is starting. run jointly front the art school and Glasgow University. Ton and a 1/2 broadcasts throughout February. 24 hours a day on 105.4FM. with music. comedy and interviews during the day and a music— only policy at night. The DJs, some of whom may even have written for this magazine, will play a range of styles from hip h0p to techno to indie.