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Sustainable Aging: save the environment, help your community and be an inspiration for the youth

After 10 years of working for a forest conservation charity, Fay Blackburn (65) found that her body could not handle the daily long walks into the forest, so she found in organizing volunteers part time a new way to save the environment.

Photo of Luiz Velloso
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Fay Blackburn works for Trees for Life in Scotland to restore the Caledonian Forest to an area of 600 square miles; only 1% of the original forest remains and often overgrazing prevents natural regeneration. The charity gives nature a helping hand, planting nursery-raised trees and fostering the growth of hundreds of thousands of naturally regenerating seedlings.

After 10 years of workingfor the charity, Fay Blackburn from Findhorn found that her body could nothandle the daily long walks into the forest, despite her passion for the work. So she developed the VolunteerNursery Weeks, enabling herself and others to continue caring in a lessphysically demanding way. Fay and each group stay at a hostel near thebeautiful Glen Affric. She leads groupsthroughout the year, as well as pursuing many other interests.

Fay says:

“I lead the conservation groups during the day, teaching volunteers the skills they need to care for the nursery. Then at night, I really enjoy socializing in the hostel. “I lead a very active life. I'm a part-time career for an old neighbor with Parkinson's disease, but it's more like spending time with a friend than going to work -after my shift we often go for lunch. I teach Tai Chai which helps me to stay so active! I love being this age - being 65 gives me the right to be as eccentric as I like, no matter what anyone else may think! I have more perspective and things that used to upset or worry me no longer bother me. My dream has always been to visit Alaska and I'm planning a holiday there soon."

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Inspirational indeed!