3 Around Us

The videos, images and interviews on this page demonstrate the myriad ways that animals appear to influence individuals and society more broadly - framing perceptions of community, the environment and individual identity across Scotland's past, present and future.

COVID-19 Project

In April 2020, when the global Coronavirus pandemic was in full swing, the EERC asked individuals to “record a creative response to the current situation.” The short films below are just two of the 15 works created by Colin Gateley, based upon the contributions and recordings shared with the EERC. The videos capture how people noticed and interacted with nature and the environment in new ways as they learned to live in lockdown.

Reference: EERC/EH/1

Reference: EERC/EH/1

Interview with David Chalmers

David was interviewed by his daughter, Melanie, in 2019, about his career as a market gardener in the family business. He spoke about how, as a youngster, he had observed the work done by the estate foresters which informed his understanding of how individual actions can support and encourage ‘environmental shelter’ for wildlife. One example of this in practice is that David always leaves part of his land wild for nettles, which provide a vital habitat for butterfly pupae.

Reference: EERC/EL/EL24/1

Interviews with Kelvin Pate

When Kelvin was interviewed by Eric Glendinning and Vivian Hastie in 2020, he talked about his life as 6th generation farmer. Sharing some of the challenges facing the industry farming and the difficult decisions around food production and environmental targets which need to be addressed. Despite all the challenges, Kelvin said he has loved his life in farming and wouldn't change that, which has inspired him to share his skills by teaching college students.

Reference: EERC/EL/EL/31/1

Reference: EERC/EL/EL/31/1

Evidence of Animals: Past and Present

These family photos were inherited by Claire Jeffrey who grew up in Edinburgh, showing the diary in Morningside where her great grandparents lived and worked. Claire explained to her daughter-in-law, Curatorial Intern Rebekah Day, that the streets shown in these images have changed quite a bit but can still be visited.

After seeing the images, RESP Projects Archivist Lesley Bryson recognised the exact location of the dairy's shopfront and explained that recent building work in her own back garden has revealed remnants of the historic dairies in this area.

"[...] I think the young girl was my grandmother Susan Aitken. She was born in 1900 so looks about 10? or so in this pic, which should help date it. I Googled 99 Comiston Road and it looks like there could be an Indian takeaway there now. The dairy was less than 10 mins walk from [...] Braid Crescent where my great grandparents lived."

- Quote from an email sent by Claire Jeffrey, 28 February 2024, England