Ellie Clarke is a self-employed landscape architect, yoga teacher and artist living in Tweeddale with her husband and two-year-old son.
For the past year, she has also been a member of the Scottish Climate Assembly, a citizens’ forum set up by the Scottish Government to make recommendations on how to tackle the climate emergency in fair and effective ways.
This experience of working alongside government ministers and a panel of independent experts on climate change inspired her to become a candidate for the Scottish Greens, once Ellie understood the up-to-date and disturbing facts about climate breakdown, she felt compelled to take action to help our communities become resilient to the changes ahead.
Ellie’s priorities include supporting local food production, ensuring paths and pavements are safe and accessible to all, and promoting the area as a sustainable tourism destination. By building rapidly on the example set by the Eddleston Water path, we should create a Borders-wide network of paths. We are already renowned for our mountain biking facilities. Adding a safe path network could transform us into a top cycle touring destination. Combine this with bus services better tailored to tourism, for example with bike trailers and Sunday services, and we’d see reduced pressure on our road networks as well as great new local business opportunities.
She knows that our farmers also deserve much more recognition for their role in feeding the nation, and better support in meeting the multiple challenges they currently face. Our land and our skilled rural workers are one of the Borders’ most important assets, particularly as we seek out a new way of living that reduces the severity of climate breakdown and better prepares us for the now unavoidable impacts. As well as producing food and timber, rural businesses will be key to providing flood prevention schemes, space for nature recovery and carbon capture, and active travel routes safely linking our communities.