Fund­ing award could se­cure Carse man’s sci­en­tific legacy

Many be­lieve great work by Dar­win was in­spired by Matthew

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Richard bur­dge rbur­dge@the­

A project to cel­e­brate the legacy of a Tay­side man cred­ited with dis­cov­er­ing the process of nat­u­ral se­lec­tion 30 years be­fore Charles Dar­win, has been awarded Her­itage Lot­tery fund­ing.

The Carse of Gowrie Sus­tain­abil­ity Group (CoGSG) will re­ceive £10,000 for the Pa­trick Matthew Memorial Project which in­cludes a fes­ti­val week­end from Septem­ber 30 to Oc­to­ber 1

“This project, which is two years in the mak­ing, will cre­ate a story-map and trail for peo­ple of all ages to dis­cover Pa­trick Matthew’s Carse and his con­tri­bu­tion to science, or­chards, red­woods and so­cial jus­tice,” said Fiona Ross, CoGSG chair­woman.

“Se­cur­ing the Her­itage Lot­tery fund­ing pro­motes a memorial to his legacy for lo­cal res­i­dents and Matthew’s de­scen­dants.”

The group is work­ing with Matthew’s de­scen­dants, in­clud­ing Howard Min­nick, and ex­pert Dr Mike Sut­ton from Not­ting­ham Trent Univer­sity to pro­mote his legacy.

Dr Sut­ton main­tains Dar­win’s book Ori­gin of Species, pub­lished in 1859, had been heav­ily in­flu­enced by Matthew’s work, On Naval Tim­ber and Ar­bori­cul­ture, pub­lished in 1831, which con­tains the com­plete hy­poth­e­sis of the the­ory of nat­u­ral se­lec­tion.

“In ac­tu­al­ity, it is Scot­land and its peo­ple who have been most short changed by this de­cep­tion,” said botanist and con­ser­va­tion­ist Mr Min­nick.

“There­fore, it is they and Scot­land who need to re­cover this her­itage taken from them. That is what I hope to ac­com­plish and help to bring about with this memorial project.”

It was Matthew who in­tro­duced the Cal­i­for­nian gi­ant se­quoia red­wood to the Inch­ture and Er­rol area. There are moves to es­tab­lish a ge­netic reserve in Scot­land as red­woods are de­plet­ing in the US due to global warm­ing.

Above: Charles Dar­win, whose Ori­gin of Species book may have been in­flu­enced by an ear­lier work by Carse landowner Pa­trick Matthew, right.

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