Mapping the Clyde bioregion

It’s not possible to encapsulate a bioregion in a single map. In 2015 McCloskey created one for “Cascadia”, the name given to the huge bioregion of a mighty part of the western seaboard of the USA and Canada.


However, in the write-up describing the map, it is made clear that to fully map a bioregion you need to think of multiple layers, or think of it as a field.  For example, I will need to include an historical map of all the ferry routes across the firth, and a geological map showing how recently the area was glaciated.

Returning to McCloskey’s map, he does one very important thing which is not done on conventional maps i.e. he includes the eastern Pacific ocean into which the “thousand” rivers of the landmass flow.

I envisage a map of the Clyde bioregion in the same way. The fjords and wide lower firth waters are almost encircled by land and punctuated by many islands such as Arran, and into this great body of tidal water (protected by a natural underwater shelf from the worst impacts of storms) flow hundreds of burns and rivers, the biggest of which is the Clyde itself.

Not a map of the land, nor a chart of the sea, but both, combined. Become one by water.

As I write this it’s raining, and the water from this rain is trickling down into our local “alt” – Gaelic for a fast-flowing stream – and then into the sea. I live in Kintyre, but on the west side, so this makes my home part of the neighbouring bioregion which I am calling the Firth of Lorn.

About edwardtyler

I live in Kintyre, the long peninsula acting as a natural breakwater for the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow. A Permaculture and Transition practitioner, I am working with fellow community activists to co-create a resilient and vibrant local bioregion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: