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  • Paris is always a good idea* (Weekly blog, 13 December 2015)

    Posted on December 14, 2015
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General

    img_1783Well, what a week! Even if you haven’t been following INTO’s bloggers in Paris (aka Anika, Keith and Oliver), it would be hard not to have noticed the momentous agreement reached in Paris this week.

    Without repeating everything my colleagues have already said about this year’s COP, it is uplifting to know that the nations of the world have been able to put aside their differences for the good of the planet. There is much still to be worked out of course, including exactly how to deliver the targets, but at last we are all pulling in the same direction.

    My week feels slightly frivolous in comparison, but we all work to save the world in different ways!!!

    On Monday, I joined the National Trust’s External Affairs team here for a day thinking about policy and advocacy strategies. There is currently a very strong focus on Land, Outdoors and Nature, with water playing a key role – interesting and topical in a week of both the climate change talks and renewed flooding in the British Lake District.

    Talking to opinion formers seems to be the easy bit. Engaging the public with the Trust’s cause – and helping them to make a difference – is next.

    WP_20151212_12_39_50_ProOn Wednesday I had an interesting exploratory meeting with a travel agency to discuss how we might develop our INTO holiday offer – Very special ‘beyond the velvet cord’ visits to NT places around world.  Exciting stuff!!!

    The week also included final preparation for our INTO Christmas Drinks this evening – a chance to thank everyone who has supported or been involved with the NT movement over the course of the year, and to welcome Fiona as our new Chairman.

    Finally, on Saturday, we went with our children to the gloriously named ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’ (a heathland nature reserve near Hindhead in Surrey, which was an inspiration to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles, now looked after by the National Trust) to find, cut and carry home our Christmas tree.  A brilliant idea – £15 for a six foot tree, bring your own saw and sledge to carry it on – and definitely a potential annual family Christmas tradition in the making!

    And after all, they – and all future generations – are the ones we’re doing it for.  From creating happy Christmas memories to protecting the planet from climate change.

    *Quote from Audrey Hepburn

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