Hello and welcome to the March issue of the Voice for Arran!

This month we bring you an interesting mix of Arran based news, reviews and previews. It has been a real joy as editor to receive news of the interesting things that have been going on and also be able to share what is to come. While the island is not apart from the foremost challenges of our time, it is great to have an edition of mainly ‘locally sourced’ news. And as ever, we welcome contributions, so if you feel moved to tell a story or report on an event please send in letters, articles, even complaints!

Last month saw a very lively and successful Arran Drama Festival. We have a fabulous report from Alice Maxwell as well as some equally fabulous photos from local photographer Mairi Simpson. We have put these images into a slideshow and for anyone interested in obtaining some of these, they are available from the Voice website. Looking forward, next month the new holistic therapy centre in Brodick, Heather Lodge, is holding a series of open days, and there is also the launch of local poet David Underdown’s second collection, A Sense of North, in the Corrie and Sannox Village Hall, to which all are welcome. Of further note in the poetry calendar is the opening of this year’s McLellan Festival Poetry competition – see the article for details on how to apply.

We also have a report from the Arran CND group who are looking to gather in old and new supporters, and will later this year be bringing the exhibition A Peace of History to the island. Many of us forget the huge problem that nuclear weapons pose to the world. Yet in a week with news of an escalation in hostility between nuclear powers India and Pakistan, the continuing work of this 60 year old organisation is a reminder of how relevant it still is.

Things that are not right in front of us are so easy to put out of our minds, as has been the case for a long time with climate change. However with the freakishly warm weather we’ve been experiencing over the last couple of weeks, it’s probably not possible to do that anymore. As we’ve been hearing in the national news, February saw the hottest temperatures since records began. Can these kinds of temperatures be put down to one-off weather events anymore? Will the government still continue to act as if the signs aren’t right in front of them? Here in Arran, Eco Savvy continues to work away at the situation, and they have great news to report this month on the increasing numbers of people on the island who are investing in solar panels for their homes.

Slightly further afield, if anyone fancies some political activity on these climate matters then over in Glasgow on Saturday 2nd and Friday 15th March are some Extinction Rebellion happenings. The Blue Wave on the 2nd is a family-friendly event and XR are inviting people to dress up in blues and greens to form a great blue wave of people to represent the rising sea-levels and flooding caused by the changing climate. Gather at 12.30 at Clydeside Amphitheatre, or later in George Square at 2pm. On the 15th is another global Youth Strike for Climate, taking place between 11 am – 2 pm at Glasgow City Chambers in George Square. We heard a rumour here at the Voice that some of the children in Arran took part in the Youth Strike for Climate last month. If you did, or know of someone who did, please get in touch! We would love to hear your story!

Happy March everyone!